English poetry

Poems in English

December 25

Christmas defeated Chanukah
Once again last night
By a margin of three billion dollars
Or so, but every time I hear
A Yiddish word like bupkes
In a movie (L. A. Confidential)
Or when Oleg Cassini in that new play Jackie
Calls a garment a shmatta, it’s “good
For the Jews,” as our parents used to say.
Meanwhile some things have
Stayed the same; the drunken lout
In the street is still somebody’s father.
Hey, kid, how does it feel to have a pop
That’s a flop? And we had such good ideas
For changing the mental universe, if only
As a project in philosophy class, the one
I still dream about failing when I have
That dream everybody has, of being back
In college and needing this one course
To graduate, which I forgot to attend

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Poem December 25 - David Lehman