Pick-a-Poem: “Cash Flow”


Hello, readers, and welcome to another featured poem. As always, our poem comes from Poetry Daily, which is a really great site if you’re looking for some new poetry on a daily basis. This week we feature Cash Flow, which is written by Ellen Kaufman.

According to her page on Poetry Daily, Ellen Kaufman have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Carolina Quarterly, The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Pool, Salamander, Seneca Review, Shenandoah, and elsewhere. She has reviewed poetry for Library Journal since 1991. She was a 2009 MacDowell Colony Fellow and won the Southwest Review‘s 2012 Morton Marr Poetry Prize. House Music was a finalist for the 2012 Able Muse Book Award.

Cash Flow, by Ellen Kaufman

Those twenty dollars missing from your wallet
remind you of the moment when you slipped
them in your wallet, thinking of something
else. These are the absent moments.
You touch yourself for hints of reassurance:
no wallet! Blood rushes from your face.
You find it though—it’s in a different pocket.
A narrow brush. These are the precious moments.
A blind panhandler taps you on the shoulder.
Absently, you pull your wallet from your
pocket, comb yourself for change. He thanks
you very much. He taps you on the shoulder,
hands you back your twenty dollars. Blood
rushes to your face. You thank him very much.
These were the missing moments. All is well
until he taps you on the shoulder, hands you back
your wallet. Blood rushes to your face. A close
escape. You thank him very much. Arriving home,
you’re missing twenty dollars. You comb your wallet.
You can’t remember. Blood rushes from your face
and fills your pockets. These are the narrow moments.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem. For more of these, check out our archives!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan


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