Martin Galvin

A Logic for Bonuses

We want our half. It’s not debatable.
If we don’t get what’s coming, here’s your plight:
We’ll sing out loud and that would be regrettable.

The bonuses will seem quite reasonable
To some but not to you - who are so tight.
We must have half. It’s not debatable.

We think our songs are quite forgettable
and we can’t read the music in this light
But we will sing and that would be regrettable.

We don’t pretend that what we sing is valuable
We’re way off key. We know it stinks. No doubt.
Still, we’ll have our half. It’s not debatable.

A frog in a bog is flatly more amenable
To harmony, more apt to hit a note that’s right.
Yes, when we sing it is regrettable.

We know our voices are lamentable.
No dancing to our tunes, nothing lyrical and light.
We need our half. It’s not debatable
Or else we’ll sing out loud: Regrettable.

Since 1996, I have published over 170 more poems in a wide variety of journals and magazines, including Poetry, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, Commonweal, Midwest Quarterly, Alimentum, OntheBus, Image, and Poetry East, and in a number of anthologies including Best American Poetry 1997 and Poets Against The War edited by Sam Hamill. In 2007, I was awarded a month-long residency at Yaddo.

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