When the Great Man died
the hypocrites came out and cried,
"When shall we see his like again? "

But, secretly they said,

"He was a troublesome spirit in his youth,
but... we broke him!

"(Breaking rocks in the sun year after year
will break the hardest men.)

"The seasons changed… and he was ‘suitable.'
We'd worn him down; time chiseled him.)

"We would play up his ‘non-vengeful' spirit.
(What vengeance will a man in his 70s wreak?)

"We let him mambo on the World Stage.
For playing our game, we gave him: new teeth;
a home; comfort in his old age.

"‘Don't call me, ' he said; ‘I'll call you.'
He didn't call, of course; nor did we.

"He got the ‘moral victory'; we took the spoils:
gold and diamonds; cheap labor; land to die for,
to kill for..."

by Gary Corseri

Other poems of CORSERI (15)

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