david.hedges.name

Dances with Marketeers

I pick up the phone and there’s nobody there.
I know I’m about to be hustled
By somebody paid to shamefacedly care
If I had a nice day or tussled.

A click in my ear, then a phlegmatic voice
Recites what’s been drummed in by trainers,
The icebreaker followed by one of a choice
Assortment of banal no brainers.

Insurance or time share or luxury cruise,
I sharpen the quips in my quiver.
I start off by saying I’m drowning in booze,
And cirrhosis is eating my liver.

“The bankers who found me to be in arrears
Foreclose on my mortgage tomorrow.
You say there’s no interest, no fees for five years?
No end to how much I can borrow?”

“Of course I would love to cut costs to the nub.
I jump at the chance to pinch pennies.
But would I fit in at an exercise club?
I can’t afford gym shorts or tennies.”

“Three days at a fat farm are just what I need.
Massages and saunas work wonders.
Keep bandages handy—my bedsores may bleed—
And diapers to cover my blunders.”

“I can’t wait to sail on your luxury cruise.
Six days in the sunny Bahamas!
The ladies will love my erotic tattoos—
I sleepwalk without my pajamas.”

“Insurance to round out my meager estate?
It’s something I’ve thought about buying.
Six million sounds perfect. Your timing is great!
My doctor just told me I’m dying.”

[First published in Light: A Quarterly of Light Verse, Fall/Winter 2007]