The Birth of Capitalism by Dylan Weir

The Birth of Capitalism

A child learns to run today.
His pace picks up as the dead president
winged by the wind is buried
in his clumsy fingers.

.

Behind the bean-cart my buddy works,
for five dollars an hour plus tips, we meet
after I finish with the clipboard selling windows
door-to-door. We lock up the sheet metal heap
playing tug-of-war with the pulley system cable
we crank the wheel and he feeds me what’s left
of the wilted beans. Waistlines of our T-shirts
wiping foreheads and countertops dry.

.

I see the child stumbling down
the faux cobblestone of the strip mall.
Plastic speakers disguised as rock line
his belligerent path. Chunky hands –
clean and pink – desperate to hug
a dollar bill.

.

When he does, we are all together.
My cheap polo with the window company logo
My buddy’s apron hanging over his shoulder.
the boy, the banknote, and
the man with the guitar.
The man whose request for beans
is always refused, the man with
hungry scrawled on a cardboard sign.

.

The dollar drops in the guitar case.
An anonymous father grabs the child.
Scolds the boy for not saving it, says
he should’ve thought about his future,
says something about
how everybody’s gotta eat.


Dylan Weir will be pursuing his MFA at the University of Wisconsin Madison fall 2015. Author of the forthcoming chapbook, dipsomania (Finshing Line Press), he has been invited to the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, earned his MA in English at DePaul University and has poems in: After Hours: a Journal of Chicago Writing and Art, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, Cleaver, Mobius, H_NMG_N, Literary Orphans, The Legendary, Red Paint Hill, and others.

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