By David Ignatow
I close my eyes like a good little boy at night in bed,
as I was told to do by my mother when she lived,
and before bed I brush my teeth and slip on my pajamas,
as I was told, and look forward to tomorrow.
I do all things required of me to make me a citizen of sterling worth.
I keep a job and come home each evening for dinner. I arrive at the
same time on the same train to give my family a sense of order.
I obey traffic signals. I am cordial to strangers, I answer my
mail promptly. I keep a balanced checking account. Why can’t I
David Ignatow, “I Close My Eyes” from Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994. Copyright © 1993 by David Ignatow. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Against the Evidence: Selected Poems 1934-1994 (Wesleyan University Press, 1993)
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I stand and listen, head bowed,
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Persons passing by think
I am searching for a lost coin.
You’re fired, I yell inside
after an especially bad episode.
I’m letting you go without notice
or terminal pay. You just lost
another chance to make good.
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