I love this poem, but it defies a short and snappy lead and you’ll just have to read it, slowly, to see if you like it as well.


Market Rate

I have no particular defining grace
Just a slowly moving target,
as unlike myself a moment ago
as some stranger on the street,
moving through this time and place
Water pouring, wind blowing
Ask me who I am, I’ll ask
to know the time, the seconds ticking
Not to worry, in the moment’s question
I’ve become another

Only knowing what I’ve been
Bargaining for what I may become
Yet bargains, once they’re made
are often debts to pay
at rates of interest far too high
Transactions over which we haggle,
negotiating who’s advantage
sets the price when the note is due
Markets, only vaguely understood,
determine you and me

A constant fluctuation, too much supply
and sometimes no demand
So my thoughts still flicker
like a faulty tube, a loose connection
This slowly moving target
against a sea of  market change,
looking for another grace as undefined
and variable as mine, yet
less shy, more market wise
A better judge of capital and risk

My eyes hold yours, but only
for a moment, then they’re gone
to another corner of the room,
speculating at a greater distance
A price beyond my current means
to say hello, ask your name
But, then again, I’m changing
from the man who held your eyes
You saw all there was to see,
to know and then moved on

Poetry Collection: The Smell of Tweed and Tobacco
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman’s
poetry collection

THE SMELL OF TWEED
AND TOBACCO

available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.