Wednesday, February 8, 2012

‘The Pawnbroker’ by Cindy Hunter Morgan

On Sunday, the pawnbroker

closes his shop and spends

the morning in the park

feeding ducks, trying to

redistribute the wealth

of this world in ragged

cubes of bread.  At noon,

he naps in a tent of spruce boughs,

his sleep addled with unfamiliar

rustlings and wild dreams filled

with peculiar transactions

with woodland creatures:

a squirrel begging to trade

the bones of his mother

for a handful of nuts,

a robin pleading to exchange

her nest for three worms.

Later, he walks through

the park, staring at everyone,

wondering what each person

has bartered for her life,

how much men have traded

for an afternoon of

chess and sunshine.

This poem appeared in Sugar House Review (Volume 3, Spring/Summer 2011)

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