A Lesson in Economics By Ian C. Williams

A Lesson in Economics

“Having devoured him, she wiped her mouth,
shut her eyes and shammed blindness as before.”
— Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio

Bell ringers swallow
generous blackbirds—
the feathers still stuck in their whiskers.
They hardly hesitate
to hide them anymore.

How many more headlines
of brass bells luring charity—
How many more charities
found funding private enterprise—
How many more voices
miming truth but truthfully hanging us

with the golden ropes lashed
from our pockets through our veins


Four-hundred dollars
would feed orphan mouths, fill their stomachs.

Eyes welling, defeated shoulders slumped.
Words heavy with meaning,

they extended empty palms like the children
they claimed to serve.

When filled, they turned
and ran.

By Ian C. Williams


Ian C. Williams is an MFA student at Oklahoma State University. He has received the Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for his chapbook, House of Bones, and his poems have appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Altar Collective, The Appalachian Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Bailey, along with their dog, two cats, and chameleon.

Leave a Reply