Riches and Rhymes

The Poetry and Writing of Janis Gaines

Month: August, 2012

I’m A Pauper

I’m a pauper in rich man’s clothes
That don’t fit.
But don’t worry —
I know this song and dance.
I know what brings the applause of the crowd
And the praise of nobility.

I click my heels and offer my hand.
I keep my chin high in the turns,
Smile at those on the sidelines
Who wish they had clothes like me
And bow with all formality
At the violin’s end.

Later I will undress
And do a proper wild man’s dance
Where I spin my heart and soul
In perfect time with the torrid beat,
And only the stars will see that
I am the true king.

© August 15, 2012
Asheville, NC


In a Local Cafe

Sitting in a local cafe
Admiring the tapestry of humanity
And food
And searching for that next word
Or phrase
That will crack the heart wide open
And spill forth light
That shines so familiar —

Perhaps even my own.

© August 7, 2012
Asheville, NC

Where Does All the Money Go?

“Where does all the money go?” Her text screamed at me. “We didn’t get enough parties and vacations…” In my mind, I quickly took account of the finances. A divorce, a rape that led to losing a home and a business, a deadbeat dad, working two jobs, a bankruptcy and foreclosure. I knew being a single mom of three would be tough, but I honestly thought I had covered the important things.

Karate lessons, volleyball, pageant dresses; a twenty left on the counter for a mani-pedi just before the school dance, a hundred for the culinary conference she wanted to attend. I even quit that job at the burger joint so that she could have it.

My oldest daughter left one day when she was seventeen and didn’t come home. Won’t even speak to me. But when I think about it, she’s right. There really hadn’t been enough vacations.

© August 7, 2012
Asheville, NC