This one's inspired by the GOP and corporate executives and all the rest of you out there who bravely bear up even though everything and everybody is against them at every turn and persecuting them, and they're really not feeling very well, either!
Your cry attracts more scavengers
Than rescuers. The swing shifters
Shake their heads and sigh.
If you've got enough breath to complain,
You can wait for fresh heroes
To haul you up. We're off. We're done in.
They trudge off to have a drink and forget you.
It's easy. Laughter breezes in without you,
All the ones like you, left behind again.
Maybe there's one who stays and waits with you.
A matronly type. Secretly, you're disappointed.
You think you're entitled to someone more in your league.
A handsome one like you are,
And still not yet middle aged.
You smile yet at her kind hand-holding
Out of habit. It never hurts to get your hooks in.
You might need her someday.
She leans close to talk, to help you pass the time.
She tells you: "The vultures, you know,
They're so much more sensitive than we are.
We hear a stifled cry, a brave protest against aid,
And we rush to reward you with more
Admiration and affection. The tale of your courage
Makes you twinkle like a star.
"But the birds, all they see is your weakness.
They don't know from fake. You lie there
And they see: You're weak, you're ripe,
You're going down. Careful what you wish for,"
She chuckles, tucking in the blanket.
You'd smash her teeth to shut her up
In an outraged flash; but no, that was
You years ago; today, you know better.
You put on your best wounds.
The dignity of your protests is impeccable.
You are deeply sorry that she has misunderstood you.
Perhaps it is her plainness that has made her so mean.
She tells you:
"As soon as you asked for pity,
It was a signal to the skies: You'd gladly die
To get one desiring look. Here they come gliding.
You're so sweet to them. If you stood up now,
How disappointed they would be."
The Post closes its suburban bureaus to save on leasing and equipment costs. The reporters will pick up these costs individually, and they will not have a moment they are not working. The 21st-century news business is now just like the 19th-century one. Every man for himself, and glean your own straw.
Photo: Entrance to Abita Mystery House, Louisiana.