Money Is Falling Out of our Mouths

As Dostoevsky said,
one sacred memory
from childhood
is perhaps
the best education of all.

Maybe that’s what
my son was talking about
when he glanced around
at dinner the other night
and whispered,
“We look like millionaires.”

Once I overheard
my mother murmuring
to my father,
and I asked her
what she had said;

she blushed
and looked at the ground
and asked,
“Can’t a husband
and wife have secrets?”

Husband! Wife!
How those words burned me!
In that moment
I lost the power of speech,
and it was years
before I got it back.

David Kirby
from his book I Think I’ll Call my Wife Paraguay
Orchises Press, 2004

Used with permission of the poet.

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