Gary Soto

(1952 / Fresno, California)

How Things Work - Poem by Gary Soto

Today it's going to cost us twenty dollars
To live. Five for a softball. Four for a book,
A handful of ones for coffee and two sweet rolls,
Bus fare, rosin for your mother's violin.
We're completing our task. The tip I left
For the waitress filters down
Like rain, wetting the new roots of a child
Perhaps, a belligerent cat that won't let go
Of a balled sock until there's chicken to eat.
As far as I can tell, daughter, it works like this:
You buy bread from a grocery, a bag of apples
From a fruit stand, and what coins
Are passed on helps others buy pencils, glue,
Tickets to a movie in which laughter
Is thrown into their faces.
If we buy a goldfish, someone tries on a hat.
If we buy crayons, someone walks home with a broom.
A tip, a small purchase here and there,
And things just keep going. I guess.


Comments about How Things Work by Gary Soto

  • (1/30/2018 10:14:00 AM)


    what does he mean? ? ? ? ? (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (4/29/2016 11:03:00 PM)


    Things just keep going. Nice summation. Thanks for sharing and Congrats.10 points. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/29/2016 3:03:00 AM)


    Wetting the new roots! Nice piece of work. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 17, 2015



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