Both jb and I have been self-employed for a number of years now. This means we have to manage our time off (you don't get paid if you don't work), our marketing needs (you don't work if you don't have the work) and our finances (you'd best earn more than you spend).
A few years ago we set up a Financial and Retirement account with a trustworthy young man who has been great in every way. thanks to him we have a systematic plan for managing our money and we've followed it, mostly.
Last week a good friend, who happens to be very business savvy and has always given me good advice, cautioned me about the state of the American economy. "It's a recession", he said, "and no one knows how bad it might end up. Hold on to your cash, kj. make sure you have enough of it to last awhile. Don't trust the stock market right now".
Hmmmm. This got me thinking. I remember my parents talking about scarcity of the Great Depression. And I saw firsthand the effects of Hurricane Katrina when so many people lost everything--everything.
So that night, at my weekly writing group, with something about "cracks" as the prompt, I wrote my first and probably last poem about financial well-being. Kind of. Please accept this disclaimer that I am cautious but not hysterical, at least not yet. However, I taking little steps to be sure our "savings" are safe.
I apologize if this is dreary or depressing. You know how serious writers and poets can get sometimes.....
The banks folded, one upon another,
Paper thin accordions piled so high and wide
it took some seeing before I knew
my little stash fund was buried from the bottom up.
I should have known when
A stern faced Brian Williams talked about the first takeover
last Saint Patrick’s day,
Foreboding tucked between fact and fiction.
Concern tucked between dinner and dessert.
And out of luck,
Defaults and deficits:
The birthday balloons of a million little stashes
Falling to the ground with scarcely a bounce.
But that’s not what I thought then,
When I heard the first of it,
Then, even the far away tales of the great depression
Meant nothing until
The crack became so wide
One thing led to another
And whoosh-wash in magic time
My pockets jingled with counterfeit faith.
I cancelled my trips and catalogues,
Collected certain coupons,
Stopped my auto pays.
And organized my closet.
I’m walking into this Midwest bar
At 4 o'clock the Sunday after Easter
and I’m announcing that I’ve torched my house,
Watched it burn to the ground
Just before I packed my suitcase
And headed here,
Worthless and spent
Just so I could savor an ice cold beer
Free of the weight
Of cracked expectations.