The Mortgage Vulture

With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe, and real poets everywhere, I thought the classic could use a little updating. Happy Halloween.


The Mortgage Vulture

Once upon my checkbook dreary, while I paid bills weekly, weary,

pondering items not long ago charged at some forgotten store.

While I balanced, nearly bouncing, came suddenly e-mail announcing

an offer gently claiming that I no longer should be poor.

“’Tis a joke” I muttered, “me, no longer poor.”

Only this and nothing more.

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in a bleak December,

as each dream home listing lay upon my ghastly rented floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow

against my savings I drew value - value I should have heeded more

than for a home of radiant beauty which angels placed along lakeshore.

Residing here forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never owed before.

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis a joke, some stranger making me no longer poor,

a hoax, some stranger making me no longer poor.”

This it is, and nothing more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Dear Sir,” I responded, “truly your forgiveness I implore.

With my credit score subsiding, ever since day one residing,

can you offer refinancing, helping me no longer to be poor?

That I’m unsure I understand you, I ask you call and tell me more.”

Silence then, and nothing more.

Deep into my monitor peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,

doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared dream before.

But the silence was unbroken, and my in-box gave no token,

yet the only word that lingered - accusation that I’m poor.

Thus I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word poor.

Merely this and nothing more.

Back in my study I sat turning, all my soul within me burning.

Soon I heard a gentle tapping, tapping at my grand front door.

“Surely,” said I, “is but the wind outside I’m certain”

Regardless, let me check the latch that fastens my screen door.

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore.

‘Tis this old house and nothing more

Open here I flung the entrance, though my mind was racked with penitence

in then stepped a stately banker of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he

with no talk or introduction, moved quickly across my foyer floor.

Sat quickly he in wingbacked chair, briefcase in hand he solely bore.

Sat and stared and nothing more.

This old man was beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

with the grave and stern decorum of the three piece suit he wore.

Since his look was quaint and tender, “Thou” I said, “art sure no lender

opportunistically answering my e-mail from before.

Tell me why thou visit my humble lakeshore.”

Quoth the Banker, “Savings galore.”

Much I marveled this ungainly man to hear discourse so plainly,

though his answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;

for we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

ever yet was blessed with seeing the like inside his door.

Man or beast with tailored speech, quickly walk across his floor.

With such a claim as “Savings galore.”

But this man, sitting purely, opened his case and offered surely

as if his soul he offered, a stack of paperwork he did outpour.

Nothing further had he uttered – no disclaimer then he fluttered –

till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have tried before.

In the past you people leave me, money lost as my hopes have flown before.”

To which the man said only, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I “what you utter is only stock and store.

Taught from some unfeeling master whom unmerciful disaster

followed fast and promised smartly till some the burden bore.”

Through financial dirge his melancholy hope seemed not a chore.

His offer, “Savings galore.”

But the man still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of man and chair and floor

Then upon the offer thinking, I betook myself to drinking.

Clause through clause I read, thinking, what of the ominous rate of your’.

What this grim, steep, often changing ominous interest rate of your’.

Spoken moaning, “Do I pay more?”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the man whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core.

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er.

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

Does he press? Ah, surely more.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

wrought by an Airwick plugged into an unknown outlet in the floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “by God can I see – through no angels he has sent thee,

despite – despite my prayers for refinancing upon this lakeshore.

Forget this unreal offer and forgive that I will be forever poor.”

Quoth the banker, “Nevermore.”

“Thief!” said I, “thing of evil!” – lender still, if man or devil

Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee through my door.

Desolate yet still undaunted, in this lakeside home enchanted,

through an unwise mortgage haunted, “Tell me truly, I emplore!

Are there lower rates out there, tell me I emplore.”

Quoth the banker, “Savings galore.”

“Be that claim our sign of parting, man or fiend,” I shrieked upstarting

“get thee back into the office of your heartless lending service corps.

Leave no business card as token of that lie thy soul hath spoken.

Leave me penniless and broken – quit this pitch and leave the paper on the floor.

Take thy pen from out my heart, and take thy form back out my door.”

Quoth the banker, “Say no more.”

And the banker, never ruffled, left his offer scattered, crumpled

Upon my hardwood inlay, parquet foyer floor.

His offer all but teeming with a money grubbers dreaming

as the shadow of his offer still lingers o’er my lamp lit floor.

My soul from out that shadow resolutely remains poor.

My mortgage overwhelms me – evermore.

Read More on Perspective
Volume 3, Issue 22, Posted 9:58 AM, 10.19.2007