poetic license


poetic license

all I wanted was some water
when I stepped into the Spar
a step up from the gas station
convenience stores I know

I walked past fresh produce
and Irish baked goods a food
counter and a coffee machine
to be surprised by spring water

that bore the name of W B Yeats
my mind flipped through fragments
of poems I didn’t remember well
looking for the right punch line

for a poem as I wandered the aisles
wondering if I might find Heaney
committed to sausages or Joyce
speaking for salt and vinegar crisps

then I went back to the bottle
curious why someone supposed
Yeats was the name that would
satisfy those slouching with thirst

I didn’t buy the water instead I
slated my thirst for his poems
with my phone and free wifi and
read these words in the checkout line

“But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

those who made him into a brand
missed that he wasn’t selling a thing
but I couldn’t get too indignant
I was reading poetry in a gas station


Thanks for reading; I know it has been a while since i wrote regularly. I have continued to write my weekly newsletter, mixing metaphors, which is free and comes out every Tuesday. I would love for you to subscribe. If you would like to support my writing, you can become a sustaining member or buy me a cup of coffee.



  1. Your words always provide insight, whether through humor or sharing experiences in the USA and abroad, even Texas. Thank you, Milton, for your inspiration!

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