(my 2nd favorite poem from this book)

Poets at Thirty

Poets at thirty learn to hide well
under the cover of book stores,
thirsty for a glimpse
of those who might buy their work.

No one sees them,
hesitant shadows behind Sandburg
as they count
and recount their books.
Wipe off the dust,
check for a pulse
then slip a few on display.

Reluctant to leave,
they are swept out the door
at closing time
like unemployment lines,
wondering how the rent is to be paid.


(from History, Poems Written in Chicago 1988-1993) Copyright 2014 by Jeffrey Spahr-Summers, Cherry Publications.