I was invaded today
By whom, I couldn't say.
It started at the Super Store
with cigarettes, I needed more.
I presented my VISA for the 300 bucks.
The clerk said it rejected and she cut it up.
It rejected, it refused, it rejected, she said.
I paid her with all the cash I had.
My name and my card have been taken.
My next stop was at the ATM at Parkgate.
There was a long line ad I had to wait
I inserted my card and waited and waited.
The screen said REJECTED REMOVE CARD SO IT RELEASES.
The card came out but it was in two pieces.
My name and my card have been taken.
On my way back from Lonsdale Quay
I stopped where I keep my savings at Van City.
I passed over my card and said, I'm a member.
The clerk swiped my card. It didn't remember.
"Where's my ten thousand?" I wanted to know.
You have no account, she said. You must go.
I objected strenuously until she threatened the police.
My card and my name have been taken.
My two banks and their cards are now gone.
I'm a weary, a weary, and can find no balm.
My Scotia bank is last on my list.
The others have been taken, I hope this one has been missed.
Two hundred thousand sums up my investment.
It started with RRSP's, no money was spent.
My financial advisor at the Scotia is Rakesh.
I've known him for years, he's a nice bloke.
We met often at his office on Broadway at Oak.
Bring your card in, he said,
I'm sure your concerns can be put to bed.
Murphy's Law prevailed the very next day.
I passed Rakesh my card and he took it away.
His Manager came out with Rakesh trailing behind.
My card was in pieces, very much like a rewind.
Like the other banks said, "We don't want your kind.
Later, I was shopping at Nesters up Dollarton way.
My groceries were beside me, on the seat did they lay.
Enough food for a week
if I give them a tweak.
I was driving alone, I hadn't got far.
A siren sounded. Oh no, a police car.
I pulled over and stopped.
Now what? I thought.
The cop approached and tapped on my window.
I rolled it down but kept my eyes low.
"Get out of the car and bring your licence."
I got out of the car slowly, this made no sense.
The policeman, with my licence, went back to his car.
I sat alone waiting, he hadn't gone far.
My licence held aloft, he checked his console, it took awhile.
He looked over at me. He did not smile.
And then he said, this is a confiscation.
He added, who is this man on the car registration?
They wanted a man to give the car to.
It's my brother, I said. What's it to you?
Of course, it isn't, it's my sister Frances spelled with an i.
Dad made a mistake on the date of birth form. I don't know why.
The cop said we'll take this man's car home.
We'll follow behind, you won't be alone.
I entered our driveway, then into our carport.
He sat in his car, making up his report.
There was nothing to do, I had to stay.
He watched me for awhile and then drove away.
My name and my driver's licence have been taken.
It's good to be home, my groceries in tow.
There's enough food for a week, maybe 2 weeks or so.
Frances was waiting inside the back door.
She'd seen the cop car, what a bore!
What did you do, she asked. What did you do?
I didn't "do" anything. This much is true.
I'll phone them she said, and sort this out.
We need a car and a driver to get us about.
She insisted on the Manager at the MVB.
They talked and they talked but had never heard of me.
I could use your licence, we look enough alike.
That's against the law, she said, and that I don't like.
Lighten up Frannie lighten up, I said.
It won't be that long before we're both dead.
It's your turn for gas so leave your money on the table.
I'll need your licence too, soon if you're able.
I prefer that my sister doesn't know what I've lost,
She'll step up, pay for everything, no matter the cost.
I don't want that, I've always looked after myself
by working, mostly secretarial, though not much wealth.
My share of the expenses is coming up soon.
I'll roll up some coins I collect in my bathroom.
Later, I went to the bank and changed the coins into twenties.
I have enough for my share of the expenses two hundred twenty.
The very next day, Frances asked for my cheque
to pay my half of computer work by the guy from High Tech.
I urge her to send her cheque for the full amount.
I'll pay her half in cash to account.
She agreed but with a small puzzled look
She's perceptive and intuitive so anything untoward is all it took.
Another 2 weeks and I'll need another 220.
I yearn for those days when I had much more than plenty.
There's $100.00 in loonies rolled, for when there is need
for the kids, which Frances decorated and called PIG'S FEED.
We gave the kids piggy banks when they were born.
Then, on special occasions, we'd gift them with coins.
I spy two collapsible chairs sitting outside.
They are wrapped in covers and not too wide.
I paid $5.00 each at the Thrift two summers ago.
I left them at the curb with a note on a bucket.
Leave $10.00 each, leave money in the bucket.
Later it was all gone, even the bucket.
This didn't go well
Perhaps best to have a yard sale.
I slumped in my chair, in much despair.
All my bank cards have been taken, it's hard to bear.
The loss of my driver's licence was the last straw
There's nothing left to take, not under the law.
Oh no, I forgot
my licence has my Personal Health Number on the back.
I hope I don't get sick.
We've lived in this house for many a year,
With my monthly pensions, I had no fear..
For my part of the house expenses, I had plenty.
26 pay periods yearly totaled only $13,520.
My bank account is gone,
my pensions cannot be drawn.
Oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is me.
I must study my assets and then I will see.
I own half of the Mini.
Transfer of my ownership needs an APV9T.
My share of the car will cover more than 5 pay periods.
Frances won't like it and it will be queried.
Two piggy banks in my bathroom are tucked.
Loonies and toonies over a year worth 1000 bucks.
There's not much left for which I could dispose.
I thought and I thought, my clothes I suppose.
I now keep my driving to a minimum
and stay at home reading some Tennyson.
He's known to be great but I do despair
I don't even "get" Guinnivere.
I don't like Tennyson as much as Leonard Cohen
But Tennyson's book is small and good for my roamin'.
Frances had an appointment over town.
But she worries about using our car to get around.
I have no licence so I'm using hers.
Fuck the law, I say, and those it serves.
We got in the car
We're not going far.
But we belt up as usual.
When not voicing anxieties, she can be a pal.
I met a woman on my walk one day.
I was wearing my fur coat which I intended to give away
to the Church Thrift off Seymour Parkway.
She admired my coat and asked where I bought it.
I told her The Bay and it cost quite a bit.
How much was it, she wanted to know.
$500 bucks, I said, or a bit below.
I'll give you $200 for it, she said.
I can wear it next month when my son is wed.
We arranged to meet the next morning.
$100.00 is all I'll take, that is my last warning.
I'll add clothes to my assets.
A garage sale may help my profits.
I thought and I thought and I thought.
There must be other more costly things I bought.
I have three purses of some quality.
There's a Coach, a pointed crossover, and a 3 pouched one that suited me.
My more valuable items will be difficult to toss.
Cash for them is needed but it will be a great loss.
A gift from my sister, a beautiful jade ring.
I wonder how much cash it will bring.
Another gift I received from my friends Dorothy and Harvey,
They got it from their friend, Alice Munro, and gave it to me for my birthday.
The book is a first edition of Dance of the Happy Shades.
It's value is $800.00 now. As cash, it aids.
My last item of value is a painting.
I bought it in Orillia, a town on Lake Couchiching.
It was hanging alone in a Jewelry store.
I liked it a lot and asked if he had more.
No, the rest of his paintings are out Atherley way,
at Rama, the reserve for the Ojibway.
He's now an artist of some repute---Arthur Shilling.
For enough cash, its sale I'd be willing.
I almost forgot my stationary bike upstairs.
It cost quite a lot, but who cares.
I used it no more than twice, it bored me to tears.
On thinking it over of what I can sell
most of my stuff is clothing which won't sell well
For a yard sale outside in our driveway
how many people, on seeing my beloved plaid shirts, will say OK.
There's not enough stuff here lying about.
My niece, Mara, was over for lunch today.
I asked if she knew how to sell things on E-Bay.
Yes, she said, but I don't use it a lot.
I've sold a few things like mistakes that I bought.
Do you have something small? We could start with that.
Preferably something not too big, and best flat.
I've got a glass paperweight in my bathroom.
For cash, of course, it can be sold soon.
It's a heavy glass owl, Mara, as you can see.
Branded on the bottom is F M Ronneby.
I'll take it home and try to sell it locally, she said,
and promote it as a gift for someone getting wed.
The buyer may want to pay me by cheque,
or online to my account if they have high tech.
Thank you Mara for all you are doing.
I look forward to the all the cash I may be receiving.
Mara took me aside and wanted to know
why only cash was the way to go.
I implored her to keep this information from her mother.
My credit card and bank accounts are frozen. I have no other.
I don't want your mother to have to support me
If you tell her, Mara, I'll have to leave---see?
Mara finally agreed, although she looked puzzled.
I smiled to myself now I've got her muzzled.
My niece is a good girl and handy for you
She's resourceful, quite charming, and beautiful too
I'm five-one and a bit in height, she's five-seven
To have her height, that would be heaven
Her hair she wears at different lengths and it is golden
My hair is dark brown, but red bits can be beholden
Mara said the little owl wouldn't be difficult to sell
60 bucks should do it, so if things go well
I'll entice the buyer with a discount if they pay cash
But, I'll have to meet them with Mike to avoid a bash
Bye, bye my little owl, bye bye
I snivelled a bit, oh my, oh my.
Frances wants lunch today at the Eighties Cafe
It's located at 14th and Lonsdale, not too far away
Their sandwich special comes with a small soup, or you can have larger
We can take half of the sandwich home and have it for supper.
Our waitress is quick and handles all bowls with no fuss
Best of all, she always always remembers us.
Frances and I parted after we ate
She needed her daily walk, it helps with her weight
I took this opportunity to take my ring to the goldsmith store
We haggled over the ring's value, I was hoping for more
I returned my ring to my finger to take it away
Assuring him I'd consider his offer for another day.
I have about an hour before I'm to meet Frances at the library
My favourite Thrift is nearby to be meticulously checked if I don't tarry
There's a dollar rack which sits outside
I checked it carefully before going inside
I love this Thrift, It has great stuff in so many bins
But, mostly I'm on the lookout for old Harlequins
My biggest asset I told Mara is my Arthur Shilling
A valuable piece, discounted for cash if the buyer is willing
That's a lot of cash, Mara said, almost twenty thousand
The buyer must come to your house and place the cash in your hand
I can do that, I said, and have Frances at my side
She looks intimidating -- threats she will not abide.
What about your stationary bike which you keep upstairs?
I remember you moved it inside because of the bears.
Yes, it was too stressful anticipating a bear at my side
You need peace and calmness for a stationary ride
I'm hoping to get a pretty good price
It's almost new, used no more than twice.
My cash on hand is dwindling
The coins I've had to use do not bear remembering
Part of the bi-weekly expenses due Frances is $220
I remember fondly those days when I had plenty
Twenties galore and too many coins in my purse
The loss of my card was bad but this is worse.
Mara called. She'd sold my wee owl for a good price
The buyer paid $90.00 and didn't think twice
Next she'll try to sell the Shilling
She'll offer a discount for cash if they're willing
The only painting I have left is the Snake
I only own half, so no cash can I make.
One thing I own outright is a claw-footed chair
It sat in this house when I visited there
Like me, its feet were close to the ground
No one sat in it, when I was not around
Dorothy and Harvey gave it to me for my birthday
Now for 500 bucks a buyer can take it away.
Many, many years have passed
My cash on hand simply could not last
The Shilling brought the most at $15,020
For a year of house expenses, it was plenty
It included 1500 bucks for some walking-around money
Like lunch out, a new crochet hook, more Cal Mag, even some candy.
The coins I saved daily soon ran out
They paid two weeks of house expenses, or just about
I sold my green ring to the goldsmith on Lonsdale
The cash he gave me was less than I wanted -- oh well.
All that's left is my half of the car
I'm unable to buy Fran out so I can't get too far
When I walk away, I'll take only a small backpack
I must travel light because the road is long -- I won't be back
Most of my clothes have gone to the Thrift
If I stayed now, without clothes, I would be bereft.
I'll need something to read when I stop before going on.
The smallest and lightest book I own is by Tennyson.
I must get away, far where I won't be found
The start of my journey would best be by Greyhound
The local bus took me to where the Greyhounds park
I hope 300 bucks will take me to a city where I can disembark
The driver said that much money will get me to Chicago
OK, I said, that's where I'll go.
The bus ate up the miles as we droned on and on
To break the monotony I read some poems of Tennyson.
As we neared Chicago's West Garfield Park
The driver questioned my intention to disembark
This is a poor neighborhood and considered the most dangerous
Looks OK to me, I said, and got off the bus.
I found some coins someone dropped on the street
Not many, but enough I hoped to buy a treat
The cafe was crowded, no seat left for me
I grabbed many free biscotti and hoped no one would see
A nearby bench sat under a tree
I sat down, sipped my coffee and nibbled one biscotti.
Next I need to find a place to sleep
Only some coins left, I must not weep
There's a box propped up against a crumbling wall
Its sides are intact - the top too - and its not too tall
I and a dog crawled in. He snuggled against me where I lay
He did not stay long, he wandered away.
Someone sat on the bench with their bag and left it behind.
Surreptitiously I grabbed it and made it mine.
The bag was filled with lots of good stuff
A sandwich, two fruits, and an Oreo cookie -- more than enough.
Today I'll have the sandwich while it's still fresh
The fruits and the cookie need something for which they will mesh.
I wandered around and finally found a small hidden nook.
Wearily, I leaned back clasping my Tennyson book.
I walked slowly away, reading a few Tennyson snippets.
Two dogs nosed around me. I think they were whippets.
An old guy approached me and grabbed my wee book.
My first poem "Homeless" was written on the cover -- he gave it a look.
"You're a poet," he said, "don't you know it?
A passing pal repeated that remark, "She's a poet?"
I grabbed my book and hustled away
Those geezers were pests, I could not stay.
The poems of Tennyson feed my spirit but not my belly.
I got lucky and found most of a donut with cherry jelly.
I walk and I walk and I sleep when I can.
It's very hard to remember when this all began.
My street name is Po
I must go
I've been taken.