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Daniel Romo


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Man gets life for stealing tube socks. -FOX News

 

I want to believe it was a quality striped pair
sporting character and flair,
rather than an all-black accessory
that conveys uniform necessity.

I’m hoping he swiped the socks
and sped through the mall,
tucked the bag under his arm like a football
he was determined not to fumble,
while he jutted and juked though the food court
until he tired and a team of police
tackled him to the ground,
rather than him simply stashing them in his waistband
and being caught on camera
by an overzealous store manager
looking to score a promotion.

I’m unsure what crimes he committed
those other two times,
or why he risked freedom for
a common, cotton product.
But who hasn’t done foolish things
for the chance to feel something soft, new,
and smooth so close to their skin?

There are times when we live our lives
according to our own laws,
when we give in to sin to see if
what we didn’t have is worth being
imprisoned in a personal jail
and only our conscience can make bail.

I picture the man sitting on the edge of his cell’s mattress.
Leg crossed over the other, foot dangling,
swaying from side-to-side like a  
life-sentence pendulum,     
white socks glowing under prison garb
like shining informants
that will never tell. 


© by
 Daniel Romo.

Used with the author’s permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Daniel Romo is the author of When Kerosene's Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). His poetry can be found in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Hobart, and elsewhere. Daniel teaches high school by day, college by night, and lives in Long Beach, CA. Learn more about him at danielromo.net.

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
jtmilford:
A truly different poem a small corner of our sometimes unseen world. Great poem.
Posted 05/17/2014 08:02 PM
Cindy:
really different - I love this one
Posted 05/16/2014 08:39 AM
paradea:
Fox News! Great fodder for the poet! Love this poem!
Posted 05/16/2014 08:33 AM
Wilda Morris:
This story is told with humor, but when obsessions become laws, real people have their lives ruined. I hope everyone reads it as a cautionary tale.
Posted 05/16/2014 08:12 AM
JanetruthMartin:
sharing the link to this one today as I fill the quiet house with laughter!!, but the line that grabbed my and the stanza I needed to read a few times was this... 'But who hasn’t done foolish things for the chance to feel something soft, new, and smooth so close to their skin? There are times when we live our lives according to our own laws, when we give in to sin to see if what we didn’t have is worth being imprisoned in a personal jail and only our conscience can make bail.' Spectacular!
Posted 05/16/2014 07:34 AM
wyantjl42:
Enjoyed this poem because of its pondering on rewards and dangers of risk-taking. Wondering why poet used rhymed couplets in the first stanza and didn't--at least not consistently--in the rest of the poem.
Posted 05/16/2014 07:28 AM
LindaCrosfield:
Nailed it. I came back and read it again, even.
Posted 05/16/2014 01:33 AM
Donna Pflueger:
Superb! I smiled. I laughed. And most importantly, you made me think and reflect. Your fourth stanza really hit home. Awesome poem, Daniel!
Posted 05/16/2014 12:00 AM
mjorlock:
Brilliantly executed! The poem leaves us with a final image that is both poignant and pathetic. This could almost be a scene from a Coen brothers movie.
Posted 05/15/2014 11:44 PM


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