Passbook to Freedom, a Coming-of-Age Poem
Mementos of Childhood
There's a lot of mementos of childhood that my mother kept in the hall closet of our house. There was the baseball glove that I played little league ball with, cub scout badges, report cards, and medical records stored in a cigar box.
One powerful keepsake was my first passbook from PSFS bank in which I entrusted the bank with my entire life's savings, which at the time was $1.50. It was an exciting and scary event. Banks can be intimidating to small children. There are a lot of adults wearing suits, a bulky security guard greeting you at the door with some degree of suspicion, and a mysterious bank vault with who knows how much money. Despite all these obstacles, I still handed the money over to the teller.
I share with you my experience of making my first bank deposit, Passbook of My Youth. Enjoy the poem and video.
Poem: Passbook to Freedom
I saved my first bankbook
as a memento from my youth.
The bank was PSFS
and the gracious teller
stood tall and authoritative,
proudly welcomed my fortune with open hands
into her vaults of wealth.
In a fleeting transaction,
with a slip and a pen attached to a chain,
I opened my first bank account
as if I enrolled in the Army.
I leafed through the mostly blank pages
of my passbook to freedom,
hoping to build on my future
as a successful investor.
Feeling grown and prosperous,
I calculated the interest
through the metrics of my mind.
On such and such a date,
Mark Tulin had deposited one-dollar and fifty-cents
in blue dot matrix ink,
commemorated by the bank’s official stamp
I kept the passbook under my pillow,
and checked the numbers at night,
waiting for the interest rate to grow
as if I had planted a Sunflower seed,
hoping it would bloom in a day.