Poetry November 2009

Villanelle with a Refrain from the Wall Street Journal


Listen the poet read this poem aloud.

Your twenties, thirties, forties, you’re a bull—
if you think of life as something like the Dow.
Though death of course is unavoidable,

you’re rising so fast rising’s almost dull,
your daily highs untested by a low.
Your twenties, thirties, forties, you’re a bull,

and life, for now, is fast and overfull—
for now, you might say, chuckling, for now
though death, of course, is unavoidable.

You’re savvy enough, I’m sure, and fully able
to plan for when the market starts to slow.
Your twenties, thirties, forties, you’re a bull,

and all your hours, all, are billable,
as you tell others what, but mostly how,
though death, of course, is unavoidable.

Like contracts, life is fully voidable,
allow deferring soon to disallow.
Your twenties, thirties, forties, you’re a bull,
though death, of course, is unavoidable.

Andrew Hudgins’s American Rendering: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming this spring. He teaches at Ohio State University.
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