by David Graham
Self-Portrait as Lucky Man
Because I pay my bills on time
and often smile when signing checks
my credit limit’s been raised again.
I’m looking better and better
these days in the bathroom mirrors
of interstate highway rest stops --
my pallor and road-dazzled eyes
lend me the cool intelligence
of actors in foreign movies
where no one completes a sentence.
And though I cannot find a job
I’m the kind of man you would think
should have no trouble. Yesterday
my car stalled at a traffic light
in time to avoid being hit
by an escaping felon’s truck.
Even when I lower my eyes
in pain or shyness I’m sure to glimpse
five-dollar bills in the gutter.
My wife is so kind I do not
deserve her, though she swears I do.
-from Second Wind. Texas Tech University Press, 1990.