At a card show in Illinois
the greatest quarterbacks of all time:
Marino – Elway – Unitas
and other stars who will sign autographs
for a small fee – everything authenticated,
everything licensed and guaranteed –
like the Sammy Sosa bobble head
doll you get for free
when you purchase your ticket to the show.
This is the principle difference between
poets and sports stars – there is no
T.S. Eliot bobble head doll, no Ezra Pound,
no W.S. Merwin nodding their literary
heads on display, enhancing your décor.
And Who is this? your guests would say,
looking at Wallace Stevens bobbling on the mantle.
But I go anyway, despite the prejudice,
and on my way home, after the show,
my wallet empty, charge cards maxed,
signed photos and baseballs in the trunk,
I sing I don’t care if it rains or freezes
long’s I got my plastic
Sammy Sosa bobble head doll
sitting on the dashboard of my car.

A memento of the good life,
with poetry or without.