Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I received the letter in the mail today
It said that I was prequalified
To receive a loan of six thousand dollars
And all I had to do was to fill out the application
And sign my signature on the dotted line
Pending and upon condition
that I meet the finance company’s easy criteria
Double talk and gobbledygook
Words that mean
whatever the loan sharks want them to mean
Despite the fact that I was holding a letter
That said that I was prequalified
What the finance company really wants
Is to trick me into using my house as collateral
For the loan, see?
This way they can bide their time
Waiting for me to default on the loan
Which I would eventually surely do
As I cannot manage my household budget
To save my soul
Having already been forced
Into bankruptcy at least twice before
By the same pig financiers
Who are trying to hoodwink me
Yet again
So easy a patsy do they think I am
A new sucker is born every minute
Said the huckster
And I don’t doubt that he is probably right
Well bless me if I didn’t need that six thousand dollars
There’s plenty to spend it on after all
there's the roof that needs fixin, and the bathroom floor is cracked
And the garage door needs replacing
And I could do with a haircut and a new pair of shoes
Diabetic shoes that usually run
around three hundred bucks a pair
So I was sorely tempted to take the bait
But I knew that sooner or later
that finance company
Is going to want to get repaid
With interest
And since I really could not pay back the loan on time
They knew that I knew
that I would have to start stealing from Peter to pay Paul
And sooner or later I would end up in default on the loan
And then before you could say Jackie Robinson
the other letter would surely come in the mail
The one that said that my house was in foreclosure
(The ugliest word in the English language)
So before all that could happen (again!)
I tore up the letter that said that I was prequalified
For a loan of six grand that I could sorely use
And I tossed it into the trash
Not because I had the courage of my convictions
But mostly because I had become
a wise old coot in the winter of my old age
And much too smart for my own damn good.

j.h. markowitz
Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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