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He has placed before you fire and water; stretch out your hand for
whichever you choose.

Sirach 15:16

Can it be thrift when math necessitates
you choose between power or a timer belt?

A car can run on hope, but LIPA dealt
its inky cut-off notice: thrift dictates

more making-do. Thus should we celebrate
your television-watching, latch-key kids,

who’ve never had a latch, much less a gate,
for saving you sitters. You took the lowest bid

from Xbox. Glory be to Lipitor,
your icebox chose no hericot, no plums!

We choose our nannies over a Nanny State,
the farmer’s market over your chain store.

You lack all thrift, unless you count the crumbs,
that art of making light from an empty plate.

Julie Sheehan’s three poetry collections are Bar Book: Poems & Otherwise (W.W. Norton), Orient Point and Thaw (Fordham). Her honors include a Whiting Writers’ Award and NYFA Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. She teaches in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

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