David Ray


In the drugstore I note artificial tears
for sale, and wonder who needs them,

how many one dollar can buy, what
an ounce of grief is worth–or the panacea

to banish it. Perhaps the product's
for actors, who must weep on cue.

I leave that supply in its bottle
on the shelf, sealed tight in cellophane,

with a rubber-bulbed dropper for those
who may need it. The real thing

still clears my eyes, and with such
economies, drop by drop, I advance

into a cashless Utopia. Outside, stumbling
into a bed of yellow roses in the sun,

I notice that almost everything is free.

David Ray, Music of Time: Selected & New Poems,
The Backwaters Press, 2006.