Old Jack by David Rosenthal

Old Jack

I’ve traded all my cows for magic beans.
There’s always someone in the marketplace
who undervalues magic, which demeans
the value of a cow—the time and space
it takes to care for one, the land, the feed,
the milking and the cleaning and the vets.
They seek a profit from what others need,
and trade on people’s dreams to hedge their bets.

So I learned long ago that beans will do
as well for food as magic (better so
of course). And all the stories that I told—
of giants, of great stalks that spiraled through
the clouds, of golden geese—were more than show.
The telling of them fed me more than gold.

by David Rosenthal

Editor’s Note: This poem’s imaginative retelling of an old story sits well within the sonnet form as the reader slowly realizes the truth the speaker already knows.


2 responses to “Old Jack by David Rosenthal”

  1. tovli102 Avatar

    Really nice…special, in fact!

  2. Ruth Moritz Avatar
    Ruth Moritz

    There is a sweetness to this poem–to the speaker’s voice.

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