He’s more or less bragging
he keeps records “to the penny” of his expenses
ever since his first wife
walked out on him leaving him
with only $300 to his name.
carton of eggs, roll of postage stamps
package of hotdogs, head of lettuce,
pound of chop meat, can of baked beans . . .
Even though he doesn’t need
to do that anymore no longer has
money problems has more money than
he can spend
doesn’t know why people don’t like talking
about money why it’s so personal so secretive.
bottle of wine, quart of milk, tank of gas
People Magazine, jar of pickles
pack of butter, bag of chips, six-pack of Diet Coke . . .
I’m realizing why he’s become such
a small-minded little man
holding in your head all day long
to make a note in your ledger
when you get home that you spent $3.49
at Ye Olde Donut Shoppe
for a glazed cruller
and a coffee cream no sugar.
Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019).