Poem, Day 7

If I Could Have Anything

On my way to the city,
A giant billboard reminds me
The Powerball jackpot is at $350 million
Some weeks, it is.
Some weeks it’s less, others more.
As the billboard shifts to my rear view mirror
The math begins:

Take the lump sum, $175 million.
$10 million into ten separate trusts, one for each niece and nephew
A nest egg for college or a tech startup
Or a food truck business

Pay off all family mortgages
Pay off all family student loans
Pay off all family consumer debt
Maybe $3 million? I have no idea.
Any leftover goes to the houses:

My siblings and my parents all get new houses
And so do I
Fully furnished
With help from Bobby Berk, of course.

$50 million to my school
For one purpose: a new auditorium
With green rooms and dressing rooms and practice rooms
And a real pit area, under the stage.

$20 million to travel
First class
Always staying in Marriotts
Real Marriotts, downtown Marriotts,
Not Fairfield Inns 40 miles west of the cities I’m exploring.

$2 million to blow on Broadway plays with my friends
In New York, of course,
Not Chicago, and definitely not Omaha.

That’s about where the math escapes me
And I remember that most lottery winners end up bankrupt
So it’s probably for the best
That I know how to squeeze joy and happiness
From my niece’s hugs
From my students’ achievements
From my friends’ laughter
From my mom’s egg rolls

From a perfectly written sentence
From a drive with my dad
From a late night with my sisters
From a perfectly resolved chord

If I could have anything,
Sure, I’d like the Powerball jackpot
I’m lucky, after all:
I know how
To have gifts and joy
In the ordinary

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