Helene Wambe

The Issue with Insatiability: A Response to Emily Dickinson's 'Real Riches'

All the time, we see things
We feel that we should have,
Like shining keys from Tiffany’s
Or pumps from Saks Fifth Ave.

We see a headphoned kid and say,
“I want those Beats by Dr. Dre.”
Or a gadget we can clutch
Like a Droid or an iPod Touch.

But in some of us,
The desire for these things soars to the sky,
In a quest to induce envy,
Boost our social status and pride,

To fill the emptiness inside,
Or avert rejection.
However, we must realize that
These objects bring the attention ––NOT US!

Quite honestly, it’s difficult
To keep others impressed
With that which is tangible:
Material finesse.

The lust for wealth, things man has sold,
Can put a burden on our hearts
Heavier than our weight in gold
And turn our lives from sweet to tart.

Our hunger for social standing and power
Looms eerily from a darkened tower
Blocking the lights of peace and truth
From our adolescent views.

We are then compelled to strive
To covet things seen by the eyes
And suffer from the malady
Of living life materially.

The lesson: be yourself.
I hope this poem helps.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.