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Passbook to Freedom, a Coming-of-Age Poem

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Mark Tulin is a sports fan from Philadelphia, PA. He has four books of poetry and one short story collection available on Amazon.


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

of approval.

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.

© 2019 Mark Tulin