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David Owen Miller

A Few Lines Written In Memory of BJ’s Thyroid

I’m trying to say something profound like
You Only Live Once in a while, or
There’s no time like the present progressive,
but real profundity has become cliche
and life despite everything the Bible has to say
is rarely about Jesus or whatever happens
once our cells stop breathing: it’s more like
that time the IRS froze my bank account
for tax evasion--I was 16, and I went
to Athens for two weeks, and when I returned,
one half of my thyroid was kidney-shaped,
the other a period, and then the IRS thought
my mom hadn’t paid her taxes, so they froze
my money. I thought at the time
there were green paper icicles in my account,
I thought I earned that money by being
bar mitzvahed, I thought why does my thyroid
look like a Martian question mark?The irony was,
my account was supposed to be transferred to
my name back in ‘82, the banker had been mistaken,
and the night she was taking home the forms
to release my money, her ex shot her
in the back in the bank’s parking lot.
My thyroid survived the ordeal and the money
was unfrozen, but the bank went under.
That is life, and if I must die from it,
I’ll be happier for knowing I’m not unhappy.

David Owen Miller has been writing the poems and teaching the Latin for quite some time. He teaches in South Los Angeles, and his students are good, happy and wonderful. His poems have found homes in smaller magazines. Currently, he is also a grad student in English and Creative Writing at LMU.

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