Recession

Sydney Lea

 
A grotesquerie for so long we all ignored it:
The mammoth plastic Santa lighting up
On the Quik-Stop's roof, presiding over pumps
That gleamed and gushed in the tarmac lot below it.
Out back, with pumps of their own, the muttering diesels.
And we, for the most part ordinary folks,
Took all for granted: the idling semis' smoke,
The fuel that streamed into our tanks, above all
Our livelihoods. We stepped indoors to talk
With friends, shared coffee, read the local paper,
Heavy with news of hard times now. We shiver.
Our afternoons are gone. At five o'clock
—Once we gave the matter little thought—
Our Santa Claus no longer flares with light.
 
Copyright 2011 by Sydney Lea. Reprinted from Young of the Year with the permission of Four Way Books.

Poems by This Author

Evening Walk as the School Year Starts by Sydney Lea
When was the last lobotomy, I wonder


Further Reading

Poems for Times of Turmoil
4/30/92 for rodney king
by Lucille Clifton
blessing the boats
by Lucille Clifton
Chaplinesque
by Hart Crane
Fifteen Years of Darkness
by Liu Xiaobo
In a Country
by Larry Levis
O Little Root of a Dream
by Paul Celan
O Me! O Life!
by Walt Whitman
Poet's Work
by Lorine Niedecker
The Second Coming
by W. B. Yeats
The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Thing
by Rae Armantrout