When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.
Poem copyright ©2011 by Tracy K. Smith from her most recent book of poems, Life on Mars, Graywolf Press, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Tracy K. Smith and the publisher.