by Gary Soto
illustrator Florence Manlik
I balanced the national budget
On the end of my index finger.
Later, I read a book while I napped
And composed a little ditty between cosmic yawns.
I righted the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
I drank coffee, cracked my knuckles
And stayed up late
I fell asleep in a meadow.
When I woke
With an ant trafficking my ear,
I connected the dots of the universe.
I found Noah's ark by scratching
With a bent spoon—
What was hard about that?
I talked the Loch Ness Monster onto a dinner plate—
Its tail alone fed a family of twelve.
I brought peace to Iraq
And cleaned the Tigris River with a tennis racket—
The fish have returned, some jumping gaily.
I tidied up a lost sonata by Satie,
Fellow artist dead nearly fifty years.
How do I do it? Exercise is the key.
You build up a big wind from running in circles,
But in the end yo have to give it all back
To the Big Sky.
Bur first Stockholm and the Nobel Prize!
I'll drink Dom Perignon, spoon Russian Caviar,
And laugh in three languages.
On a really tall box, I'll accept my prize for Chemistry—
Who knew that bullshit could be turned into gold?