The clever man’s who gets ahead,

the plaid man said

while his glasses read,

“Forty million dollar suit –

now settled with the fame to boot!”

then laughed so hard he cried.


See, if we would up our smarts,  

we’d break good hearts –

quick to nab our parts

and gladly keep all to ourselves.

The smart man never quests or delves –

just pushes everyone aside.


The smart man isn’t plagued with qualms.

He’ll not give alms

to any sweaty palms.

We, without that silky fit,

simply make the best of it

and say, “Well, now. I tried.”


The plaid man stood and turned to go,

then said, Although

I may never know

the secrets that make smart men tick 

(what sleight of hand, what lucky trick)

at least I have my pride.


Then he grinned with twinkling eyes,

We’ll earn no prize

for our being wise –

no golden goose, no grand parade.

Nothing’s won. We don’t get paid.

Then, as to confide, 


he peered above his spectacles –         

such sphericals! 

Ah, yet miracles  

abound in all things light and shade,

entwined in metaphysic braid.
So, we and they are tied!


I watched the plaid man walk away,

his coattails sway

from our bright café.

I sat in silence for a while,

as sun poured honey on the tile,

then laughed so hard I cried.


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© Copyright 2005 Susan M. Botich