Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Is there a single brave soul out there?
a weary nation of individuals
wonders, who's like us? A man

who's far less smarmy
than a hero, but less like a crook
than a witless bystander?

A woman, who's willing to work overtime
at keeping her integrity nearest to zero,
so as not to call unnecessary
and ballistic attention to it?

That hardened-but-immaterial
sheep of the herd who goes first,
who strives boldly to improve
the whole world only subtly,

through ecumenical promotion
of the most empathetic self-interests
and nonchalant nods to the most
figure-flattering of scruples?

Deliver us, lord,
the private prayers shall go
sailing ever upward,
one we can trust—who's not afraid

of switching off the lights
when leaving the room,
even just for a minute,

but who still insists on sleeping
next to a jittery little Chinese
box fan every night, for the comforting
ambient drone of its motor.