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Friday, April 08, 2016


by James M. Croteau

Poke London's website Global Rich List allows individuals to compare their wealth with the rest of world. Their hope is that seeing privilege will inspire those with wealth to share more of it.

I glance up to the fifty-inch screen, Brussels, the bombings,
pictures of three men with carts in the airport. While CNN
ticks ISIS #2 killed in U.S. operation, then Cruz blames Trump

for tabloid story. I can't tell what that’s about, Cruz's head is now
talking but the TV's muted for the theme to Dawson’s Creek. How American
this song, Dunkin' Donuts, me, my laptop screen split between Word and

Facebook, my table with coffee and muffin. There's a new post on
my home feed with a word too frequent among friends as I age:
metastasized, before I can think I click like. That's not right. No bombs

are bursting in my middle class air, and my news ticker's streaming that
my yard needs a mow, my dog's shots are now due, and in Track Changes
21 comments still need my attention. My life's full of small needs--this

I can see. The music seems mocking: I don’t want to wait for our lives
to be over. Am I waiting? I can see what I've got, there's a website
for that-- entered $60,000 a year, didn't add benefits or assets, and still

only one tenth of a percent of the world is wealthier than me. Then I pretend
my life as I know it will last, but twilight's last gleaming's becoming hard
to ignore. O'er my ramparts, I see folks missing-- mom, dad, a whole generation,

a cousin, three friends. My fingers password Caring Bridge faster than
Facebook. I sigh and glance down to my edits, my muffin, my coffee.

James M. Croteau lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his partner of 31 years, Darryl, and their two Labrador retrievers. Jim grew up gay and Catholic in the U.S. south in the 60’s and 70’s and his writing often reflects that experience. His poems have appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Right Hand Pointing, Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South and Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry among others. His first chapbook will be published by Redbird Chapbooks in 2016.