Pawn Shop in a College Town


At a pawn shop in a college town

You can buy the pieces to a better life


Instruments someone else learned to play

And a graphing calculator that will save your ass during finals

Jewelry from grandma

Hocked to pay the rent or numb the pain

Lit up in the window

Behind the bars

Under the neon


Those kids are going somewhere

And this was too much to carry

Rich in their wake

Snap it up for a little money

That telescope from when astronomy seemed like a good major

Or the designer bags step mom sent

Innocent of sweatshops and newborn ideals

Pawned in righteous rage


Here are all the pieces

The graduating class left town last summer

And took with them the instructions

For assembly

Of that better life.

Copyright Meg Elison 2012

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