Issue Fifteen - October 2009

Filling Out the F.A.F.S.A.*(*Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

By Maya Borhani

“If net worth is negative,
enter zero.”
My daughter peers over my shoulder,
knows the weight of what can’t
be measured or held:
open sky, heartache
new leaves unfurling
to a dying sun.
She factors endless love into the equation;
I type zero, press Enter.
She qualifies for maximum aid
at prestigious university,
follows her dream into art’s
wild furred world,
like I followed mine,
climbing into hills
where I studied masters
and forgot to worry about the future.
Some days I ponder
what lacking a net worth brings,
the trade-offs gained
in this wandering life.
I bet Han Shan
didn’t have a net worth either,
climbing mountains, writing poems,
mind relaxed as plum blossoms
floating downstream.