Four houses, six cars, three wives, and two kids later,
he despaired: pension, stocks, and bonds, all well balanced,
except for him. So he went to France to despair in style.

Over dinner, his escort asked him how much he was worth.
A lot, he said, maybe more, then went to his room alone,
where he flicked the light, locked the door, thought, not much,

maybe less, and poured himself too many drinks.
Hours passed, the dark grew vast, sweeping Paris in its drift
as he sank to sleep listening to the late-night rain

that rattled on the mansard roofs and slicked the cobbled
Place Vendôme, the runoff sluicing through the gutters,
down the storied sewers, into the streetlight-silvered Seine,

through his lot of nights to follow, into the North Atlantic
beneath the Borealis and a wealth of worthless stars.

Forum Comments:Trickle Down
Image Credit:Montse PB
Edison Jennings is a single father, part-time teacher, and veteran living in the southwestern Appalachian region of Virginia. His poetry has appeared in Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Rattle, TriQuarterly, Southern Poetry Review, and several other journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Reckoning, is available at Jacar Press.


  1. Love this one, Edison. It avoids the obvious conclusion and moves much more appropriately to an empty vastness that underscores the enormity of despair that the subject feels.

  2. Damn–I believe that’s ’bout the nicest thing ‘bot I ever heard. You sure you aint been hittin’ the corn jac? Seriously, thanks. That’s exactly what I was going for Trickle Down is also the title poem of a short chapbook I’ve just completed and sent off yesterday. Wish me luck and have boom-bbom weekend.

    • Very nice also how you follow through the money/wealth theme. To me, a sign of a very good piece is when the ending makes me revisit the title.

  3. Thank you, Edison.

    ‘Trickle Down’ is quite something. And Just hate it so being nice on a weekend. A well deserved spot here.

    Good job.

  4. You’re welcome, Edison
    — apologies for the typo above, no edit key.
    /And I just it so being nice [not to mention errant] on a weekend./



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