Saturday, December 22, 2012


We are always one step ahead of you,
Dragging our excess baggage on board
Like we own each ship we sail on,
Imposing ourselves on the most fair
While keeping you in chains,
We sailing first class
making our way around the world
with stiff cigars gripped
between our grinning teeth,
Wearing straw hats and white gloves,
As we sip wine from glass slippers
We make you wear,
You eyeing each strut
From behind cage of steerage,
Unable to break free or have
Any of what we have,
Until some old sea hag
Gives you the key to the gates
That keep you down,
A master key letting you
Make your way up to where we are,
letting you feel what it’s like
to ride on top even as the ice guts us
And with too few life boats
to accommodate us all,
who can blame you for scrambling
into the last seats you see,
before the cold water pours
over the last deck,
before it dawns on us all that
it has always been a matter
of sink or swim,
and first class is no longer
a luxury, but a matter of survival

(from Slow Drowning in a Fast River -- a work in progress)

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