“If you want to be sad,
no one in the world can make you happy.
But if you make up your mind to be happy,
no one and nothing on earth can take that
happiness from you.”
New Yorkers Edward Field
Everywhere else in the country, if someone asks,
How are you? you are required to answer,
like a phrase book, Fine, and you?
Only in New York can you say, Not so good, or even,
Rotten, and launch into your miseries and symptoms,
then yawn and look bored when they interrupt
to go into the usual endless detail about their own.
Nodding mechanically, you look at your watch.
Look, angel, I’ve got to run, I’m late for my…uh…
uh…analyst. But let’s definitely
get together soon.
In just as sincere a voice as yours,
they come back with, Definitely!
and both of you know what that means,