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Of Course It Matters

Text of Poem

My neighbor stopped by this morning
to satisfy a need for company
and share a cup of coffee, his face
concerned as if he had eaten too
much crow. The plunge in cattle prices
had broken his back but the bank
flung him a loan to keep his debts
from drowning him. Thin weather,
he said, at our house, my two boys
in college will have to earn their
way and learn a lesson in finance.
He managed a smile as he leaned back
and said, the trees won’t die nor
grass turn brown, we have no cancer
or jiggly minds, it’s only money,
what does that matter?
I thought, but it does matter,
it tears the fabric of the neighborhood
when trouble comes, we know the fear
that feasts inside us like a crow
on dead rabbit. Misfortune looks
everywhere and cuts its pie in
many pieces to be passed around
most often when we have least appetite.

First Line
My neighbor stopped by this morning
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
The Complete Poems of James Hearst. Ed. Scott Cawelti. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001. 501.
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