Poetry in Motion

New York

The Good Life

Tracy K. Smith
A poster featuring art by Amy Bennett depicts neighbors sitting on the front porch of a suburban house. Above them, a man leans out an open window. The grass is green and a large tree is in full bloom. Below the art is a poem titled The Good Life, by Tracy K. Smith.

The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

From Life on Mars © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with permission of Graywolf Press.
Amy Bennett, Heydays (2011), NYCT 86 Street. 
Commissioned and owned by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design.