Autobiography 22: It’s Not Just the Income

by Gary Hardaway

Unless they leave you comatose,
it's the disasters you remember.

The dream jobs, lost.
The good jobs, lost.

The marriages, lost,
as consequences of the lost jobs.

It's never the economic turmoil
but the psychic eviscerations

that lead to estrangements.
What you thought yourself to be,

your value and standing, vanishes
as the economic vagaries suck

the self into a death spiral of new
valuations equaling zero.

I was neither resilient nor ambitious
and the consequences slapped me down,

twice. I recognize my current value:
almost nothing and falling fast.