Ode to Broke

By Frank Thompson

It’s almost here! That day sublime
which brings the start of summer-time!
What shall we see? What will we do?
Let’s go to Europe! Whoop-de-doo!
Or perhaps we should decide
to rent a lovely house beside
the ocean blue and spend our days
in cold libations’ lovely haze.
Cross-country drive? A sailing spree?
They all sound peachy keen to me!
There’s just one problem (hear me well).
We’re stuck right here and broke as hell.
Let’s face it, friends, some can’t afford
to visit Alp, resort, or fijord.
(We’d love to mix with Eurotrash
but simply lack the piles of cash.)
Fear not, however, gentle friend!
The options truly never end
for one whose spending money springs
from selling off unwanted things,
walking house pets, selling plasma,
or trying some new drug for asthma
in laboratory tests extensive
(if they use mice it’s more expensive).
Just look around and you will see
a ton of things to do for free!
The trick to making them inviting
is changing what you find exciting.
No boring trip to France for me,
it’s off to the court house, hee hee hee!
See the people filing things!
Hear the ancient printer dings!
How could you ever have the blues
observing folks in hard-soled shoes
up to such outrageous capers
as climbing stairs and holding papers?
Next up, the grocery store is there
to entertain (and slightly scare)
with all the types of odd and neat
who share one trait – they all must eat.
Just make a lap through Kroger’s lot –
I guarantee you you will spot
all sorts of things! You won’t be sorry!
It’s like a stay-in-town safari!
Look there! A bald-topped elder-walker!
A warbling wobbling boyfriend-stalker!
A cell-phone-shouter in the wild
(who truly needs to chain her child)
bleats out her call for all to hear
on who she thinks is likely queer.
She sings of who is poor and rich,
who’s a luv and who’s a bitch,
her friends, her foes, her weekend’s plan,
and how she’s got to dump her man.
(Then watch her force a painful smile
when as she goes to turn the aisle
her cart comes bumping, almost crashing
into the person she’d been trashing.)

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Onward, onward! More to do!
How’s a snack sound? Good to you?
Off to the Red Cross, where, you see,
they give you Oreos for free!
To go with that? (Oh, turn me loose!)
Some apple, grape, or orange juice
which alternate in sweet rotation.
(One pint of blood, required donation.)

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The thrills don’t stop! Life’s lively tune
plays on throughout the afternoon!
Watching people stand in lines
to pay their ancient traffic fines!

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Relaxing in a quiet spot
observing folks you’re glad you’re not,
like obese grandma in a thong
at Target. (Jesus, that’s just wrong.)
The world is here, with thrills to serve,
free treats to munch, sights to observe.
All this and more awaits us now,
yet reader, you may question how
one cultivates this type of thinking.
(I recommend you start with drinking.)

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