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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

The Appraiser

The Antique Road Show came to town!
Everyone brought a treasure,
bottles, old plates, cups of blue enamel,
the memoirs of the local grocer.
Anything that looked ancient,
yellow, had mildew in the seams,
stood crookedly,
gleamed with amber,
held a clouded mirror.
A show with the master appraisers
praising their beauty,
fingering delicately wrought iron,
eyeing the owners,
pensive, holding their breaths,
wringing their hands,
waiting for the judgment.
The price,
the ultimate value of the dead,
the artifact,
the junk,
the ugly aunt of a dish.
And with a flourish
of great gravitas,
the appraiser considered the discarded wreckage,
gold trimmed,
silvery with tarnish,
and asks of the owner,
Do you have any idea what it’s worth?

And I,
commit the ultimate blasphemy!
With a flick of my hand,
freezing the scaffold’s lever,
(sparing my neck the ultimate adornment of a noose)
turn the television off
and say to the absent audience,
It’s worth as much as your heart,
stuffed with dreams,
wormy with tears,
colored with April.
Poems waiting in your soul
to be written
your eyes, fabulous stars
glittering with hope.
Your face a burnished Buddha,
and I archaeologist of the new,
give a king’s ransom for your smile,
your joy,
the unchipped veneer of your hope,
and call your someday’s antique, priceless.

Published inIndex of all Poems