Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Mr. Tony Gold

The irony of Tony’s last name–
We call him Mr. Gold to his face–
Is not just that
His wallet is worth less than
The price he paid for it
At Two Guys Dollar Store,
But also that his skin
Is black as the tar paving
Broad Street–driven over, walked on,
and done in by cars, buses,
and millions of feet.
You could argue that
The white gold of the
Almighty African Sun
Staring down on the heads of
The old man’s ancestors
Was responsible for his skin tone,
Thus making his name more apt,
Or that the gold lining an upper tooth–
The third one counting left of center–
Applied to his mouth in younger,
Better days long gone
Made the irony less distinct.
But it’s hard to get around
The thought of poor Mr. Gold
Spending his homeless days
Sitting on the steps
Of the public library
Asking for spare change.
We don’t even use the
Gold standard anymore:
Insult to injury.


NaPoWriMo Day 8. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem about a color.

Check out this list of my poet friends who are also doing the poem-a-day challenge. Visit them and cheer them on! Contact me if you want to be added to the list.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012.


Comments on: "Mr. Tony Gold" (27)

  1. Janaki Nagaraj said:

    This is a powerful and a touching poem. Nice.

  2. ‘The white gold of the
    Almighty African Sun’ I like the power of these lines.

  3. Girl, you put your foot in this one! I felt like I was flying as I was reading. Going on a journey on the road map of Mr. Tony Gold. Three snaps up and a twist for this! 🙂


  4. Wow, Mr Tony Gold sounded so intriguing! Good job! 🙂

  5. Stunning and heartbreaking. Beautiful imagery. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. you are truly talented Adriene 🙂


  7. Fantastic Sweepy! How did you weave this one? I have to get into your head one of these days : )

  8. Very touching…It’s so sad the degrading reality that so many face and oftentimes are thrust into it due to circumstances that to them seem insurmountable. I volunteer at a soup kitchen and I have met individuals similar, wonderful people, that just need compassion and not judgement.

  9. Very very deep expression. I loved it!

  10. I took a day to think about Mr. Tony Gold. As I noted last year you can really set a scene and this is top shelve stuff and the end tug tears.

    Way to go Adriene.

  11. […] Joyce presents Mr. Tony Gold posted at Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World. Penned for the current, ongoing National Poetry […]

  12. Goblinrant said:

    Sad. Made my lower lip tremble. But poetry is suppose to affect us no matter the topic.

  13. Such a poignant glimpse into one man’s life, with a great juxtaposition between the gold and dimness of real life.

  14. A brilliant portrait. I love the choice of detail – ‘We call him Mr Gold to his face’ – and the urgency the short lines give the piece. Above all, I love the balance of pathos and humour – and its understated evocation of five hundred years or so of history.

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