Shelter-in-Place Poem #2: If William Carlos Williams Took a Tax Deduction



The author Herman Wouk once said, “Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.” One thing’s for sure: there’s nothing poetic about filing taxes.

Unless, that is, you’re an imaginary 21st century version of William Carlos Williams, toiling over deductions as lockdown wears on.

This is Just to Say (2020 version)

I didn’t itemize
my 2020 deductions
because I lost my shoebox of receipts
along with my mind

Forgive me
but all I can do is binge Netflix and bake
and the IRS
is so confusing
and so cold

Here’s something that might ease alternate-reality Williams’ stress: thanks to the 2020 CARES Act, for this year only you can deduct up to $300 off your taxes for a charitable donation! That’s the case even if you don’t “itemize” your taxes but take the standard deduction, as 90% of us now do.

Click here to apply that money to help your local literary festival survive this rough time!

This is just to say: we appreciate and very much need your support.



Williams’ original from 1934:

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold



P.S. Want to join in the fun? Email info@baybookfest.org with your own take on a famous poem! We’d love to feature it on our blog or in a newsletter.

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