The Way

by Andy Roberts

They say you don’t know any better
when everyone else around you
lives the same way, in trailers.
I was just a kid, but I knew
the floor shouldn’t move
when you walk down the hallway
and the whole house rock side to side.
One we lived in for awhile
wasn’t any more than thirty feet long.
My parents envied neighbors in double wides.
I knew it meant a lack of ambition.
So I never tried,
convinced myself that was the way.
Because if you want something it only
leads to disappointment. Later I read
Desire is the source of all sorrow
in some Buddhist text.
My parents didn’t know
Buddha from boo.
Desire is the source of all sorrow.
You can take that both ways.
I never tried until the white
was in my cheek
and it was too late.
But that was the way
life panned out.

ANDY ROBERTS lives in Columbus, Ohio where he handles finances for disabled veterans. His work has appeared in hundreds of small press and literary journals including Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, Coal City Review, Fulcrum, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Midwest Quarterly, Mudfish, Pearl, Plainsongs, Santa Clara Review, Slipstream, and many others. His latest collection of poetry, Pencil Pusher, was published by Night Ballet Press in April 2015. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times.