Explication of "Declining the Loan"

Essay by kelkinseyUniversity, Bachelor'sA, June 2008

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The light in the office is strong enough only to question the path through the numbers that accompany this loan request.

I have sat here nearly an hour, pencil wearing down and down into the soft sponge of spread sheets and flower fields of yellow legal pads.

It is like following bread crumbs into the dark forest where trees are the stumps of nines and sevens; the stained glass of light through the leaves as seen in zeros and eights. Slowly I have discovered a life: house payments, car payments, credit cards, insurance, tax returns, miscellaneous truths that stutter when I ask, how are you going to pay this back?Is the truth a desperate traveler who never comes to stay. From his satchel, does truth extract the knife that later draws blood.

I sense as I question the man that he aches for that knife. It would be an easier honor than hearing me say: there are several items on your credit, your debt to income ratio is too high.

He looks at me as if I speak a foreign language.

Does that mean I don’t get it, he asks. I’m afraid so, I say. I look directly at him, protected by the authority of position, the mythology of bankers.

He deflates as if that knife made an opening and all the air escaped. He crumples into his clothes. What am I going to do, his last question. This truth and mine are darkThis is an example of personification where the light takes on human traits with questioning.

This is an example of figurative language because this is giving more than its true meaning.

This is an example of an allusion because it is taken from the story of “Hansel and Gretel”.

This is an example of personification because the truth is taking human traits as a desperate traveler.

This is an example of a hyperbole because it is an exaggeration with how he reacted.

strangers. I don’t want to talk to him about it anymore.

I want this to be a clean wound that will heal with no scar. I don’t watch him leave. I go back to my work.

The numbers don’t tell about the cold dinner, left out for him because he’s late. They don’t show the pain of pride to humility as he shakes his head no when she asks about the money. Those numbers have straight spines and stiff shoulders. They shine like lasers.

And their light is only bright enough to see the knife dropped to the floor. The handle in the shape of a six.

This is an example of a simile because it is describing how the numbers shine like lasers.

The workplace theme is a bank setting between a loan officer and a bank customer.

This poem does not rhyme.