If There be Rags Enough

by Larry Chamberlin   Mar 7, 2017

There are things rich people
cannot understand;
not merely the throes of hunger
or the pain of untreated cancers
but things more subtle and thus
more likely to kill, even if slowly.

They don't know that the beat of hearts
beside you at night in a crowded bed
reassures you that all that you care about
are safe within your arms.

They don't know that the reason your spouse
stops talking about her or his day
is not because he or she stopped loving you
but because they can't stand adding to your burden.

They don't know that when your older child
stops talking it's not drugs they are doing -
they are planning their escape
and cannot bear to be forestalled.

They don't know that when you're young
any demagogue
who speaks visions
of a better life is easy to follow
until you're older and tired of following fools.

They don't know that the things
money can't buy
sometimes can't be had
without money.

They don't know that happiness
might be overrated but
hope of it gets you out of bed
in the morning
and drives you to it at night.

If there be rags enough
wisdom is earned
not just learned.

[Title is from Her Praise by William Butler Yeats]


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Latest Comments

  • 1 year ago

    by Meena Krish

    True...there are some things the rich do not understand which
    the poor take it as a blessings; there are times where couples stay
    mute because they understand and not just walk out forever because they fail to understand.

    Yes life can be better which the rich feel can get them everything
    and will feel secured. But the poor learn life, push forward and
    know that though they can't provide much for the family they are
    close...nicely penned

  • 1 year ago

    by Naughtymouse

    Larry you are such a poetry freak!! i love your writing so much and i have to say, yet again, your words are written with wisdom and of an understanding that so many people in today's world just do not get.

    I want my nominations back now.

    Amazing, saved to favs for future eating.

    all the best as always

  • 1 year ago

    by Em

    Not a truer word spoken Larry. There are those who don't even know they're born never mind the struggles in life.

    Some reason I cant nominate but I hope it receives one. Take care.

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