Wallet<br>Patsy Asuncion
project name

Patsy Asuncion


Patsy Asuncion


an old man clutches
his worn-out billfold
stuffed with young dreams
a kinder world

stained original 1936
social security card
trumpets Roosevelt’s promise
tranquil retirement

no hint of today’s Medicaid
madness and malaise

sunny smile captured
by automated renewal
on a driver’s license
laminated into the next millennium

enshrined by a ninety-something
who dreams of buying a Cadillac

gold-plated lifetime VFW card
hails service to his adopted country
boasts bravery and importance
against invaders of his homeland

bought with lingering wounds
nightly reruns of muted horrors

voter’s registration card
chronicles a perfect-voting record
of a life-long staunch Republican
who believes only in black and white

no doubts about patriotic principles
rules ever accepted, never questioned

dead scraps of discolored paper
with scribbled phone numbers
of long-forgotten faces who don’t visit
him in his nursing home solitude

except through treasure
his faithful leather memoir