This Too

A poem by Jeffrey Zable


I felt very sad, and you said, “This too shall pass. . .”

The door opened and someone entered with a child on a leash.
“He is more than a pet,” the person said, “and if you’d like to pet him
it only costs 50 cents.”

I then remembered the time a teacher embarrassed me in class
by calling on me when I wasn’t ready.
“Child,” she said, “if you sailed north on the Pacific would you eventually
wind up in Japan or Elvis Presley’s house in Memphis?”

With nothing left to lose I said I was leaving
and that I was not only going to find a new school and new parents,
but a new and better way of seeing the world.

I said this to anyone who would listen, but as I looked around the room
I saw that everyone was sucking their thumb and rolling their eyes
as if I’d said the dumbest thing they’d ever heard.

I felt very sad, and you said, “This too shall pass. . .”


Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction  have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Some of his recent writings have appeared in Serving House Journal, Mocking Heart ReviewKairos, Third WednesdayFutures Trading, Tower Journal, Jokes Review, and Fear of Monkeys, among others.
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