Monday, May 19, 2008

The Golfer, by Barry Yelton

In a long curving arc
it soars
gleaming in the sunlight
racing over the green grass
the towering pines
and lands
with a splash.

He mutters imprecations at the vile thing
the day growing darker
and after two birdies on the front nine
and the fruit of a successful wager
dangling like a golden carrot
He curses again at his fate
Twelve over par for the round.
The tragedy of it all

One can only but weep at the sight
of the golfer
resplendent in his khakis and golf shirt
easing into the soft leather of his Mercedes
defeat and despair etched on his face
The day was a disaster
embarrassed and harassed
a C-note poorer
he slowly drives to his home near the club

The gardener waves cheerily
as he comes up the drive
but he doesn’t see
The seven bedroom colonial
seems to mock him today
the polished marble and hardwood
seem cold
He lost

Wearily he trudges up the winding staircase
the crystal chandelier glowing warmly
fails to lift his spirits.
Booting up one of his five PC’s
his portfolio he eyes
The tragedy continues
down five hundred grand
almost five percent for the year!
To the liquor cabinet for the twelve year old Scotch
succor just a few steps away
the broken man finally
finds relief

Walking to the window, Scotch in hand
seeking comfort in the long expanse of lawn
The azaleas are in bloom
and the songbirds sing sweetly
but alas his gloom is not broken
He watches the gardener
lucky man that he is
What care does he have?
He did not shoot eighty today!
He did not lose 4.7% of his portfolio this year!
Oh the unfairness of it all!
Look at the man
working in the sunlight
cheerful and smiling

Ignacio trims the hedges just so
sweat streaming on his brown, smiling face
unaware of the angry gaze of his employer
from the second floor window
of the brick and stone mansion
He works with a purpose
for six twenty-five each hour
living with eight others
in a ramshackle trailer
so he can send an amazing
one hundred dollars per month,
to his family in Guatemala
so they can buy rice and beans
and will not starve
and perhaps Rosita can buy
for the children
some clothes this year
perhaps even shoes
so their feet don’t get bloody
working in the cane fields
He works even harder
and glances at the sun
growing low to the horizon
Soon to the second job
cleaning garbage trucks for the city
standing shin deep in the muck
for eight more hours
scrubbing and shoveling
but he doesn’t mind
This year perhaps he can buy a new dress
for Rosita
his beloved
and he smiles broader at the thought

But the man sipping Scotch
no such happiness has he
for life has turned dark
he shot eighty today

1 comment:

Bo Drury said...

isn't that so true. From one end of the spectrum to the other. Rich man--poor man and atitude. I read once and quote...'The lucky man is not the one is given everything, but the man who makes something of whatever life throws his way.'
another one I enjoyed reading.