More Poetic Asides hijinks on the theme “Ready/Not Ready.” Hey, it’s Election Day. Timing is everything.


My girlfriend said their great retirement home
will be built on the edges of Seneca Lake
She picked out the fabrics, the flooring, and all
No detail neglected, no room for mistake

Then came the crash of his 401-K
and panic seized both in an iron vice grip
Reverting to scarcity, selling the Rolls
Cancelling their spring Caribbean trip

They’d counted on Washington, ‘cause they fed campaigns
that killed rules for banks and left gaping loopholes
Then scare tactics spindled by media wonks
diverted attention from loosened controls

She whines that their mansion is now underwater
Not from Katrina – hell, they’re Northern white
But what to be scared of and who is to blame?
Rushing to judgment, without due hindsight

Now I and my husband have never played stocks
We always have rented and lived within reason
So we didn’t sweat when the big banks collapsed
(but many walked out on their homes and claimed treason)

No gambling, no losing; no panic, no sweat
We have all we need: Roof and food and cheap cable
Do you remember the Bush call to for ownership:
“Everyone should buy a house” (even if they’re not able

to figure the finances, understand risk, and
above all, to never trust salesmen at banks,
who said, “Zero credit? No problem, sign here.”)
It is to these policies we said, “No thanks.

We’re happy to “flush down the toilet” our rent
Cause when a pipe breaks, there’s a landlord to call
We don’t care for Disney, the cruises, vacations
We wonder if folks know true values at all

Family, friends, an occasional potluck
Every Christmas our presents are set:
Gifts to the pantry, to Heifer and others
And thanks to the Lord, all our needs have been met

If life is a journey, the world a big stage
Let’s act as a troupe, never leaving behind
our neighbors who need more than they can scratch up
Whether welfare or mortgaged, let’s keep them in mind

The Great Equalizer has left ivory towers
and lives off our taxes, as has been the custom
He gets a free pass on the hardship he caused
‘Cause Fox blames it all on the “Socialist Muslim”

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil