Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dregs of the American Dream

Shambling to the door, the old man
Split the Post-Gazette as follows:
Things that matter; adverts, weather,
Real estate he'd sell, excuses.
Then the pace of war, of taxes,
Last, the sports, once to his manhood
Central. Now decried as worthless,
More a torment to the man who
Stares into his cold reflection
In the china case just past the
Pile in which recycled dreams die.

never could i gain
no man will obtain
excellence! my brain

rigidly declares
triumph flees before
boredom's pall prepares
to death

Forty years of struggle locked in
Seventy years of mist, of memory.
Wed a fertile mind soul body
Planted monoculture there
Five lost children call you "other"
Only grandchild bears your witness
By a bird call you once taught him

Legacy written under claims of
Rights of age and skill of rhetoric
Finally, power fading, shame
Strategies could not assemble
What was born already broken
Broken now, your body resting
Freed from one last lecture given
Look at what is left - a relic
Of his time cast bitterly
Into ours.

one took one who could not love him
one found an angel
one joined with another victim
two so certain of their path
they stayed alone

surveying my aging body
my shopworn life I
see my father's footsteps lengthen
( He a 10 1/2, I a 12)
overtaken by his shadow
his pain my shame
am I more or less

more polished yes
spit-shine on canvas sneakers
more money no - more debt
degrees lie fallow
more waist line tells a different story

less healthy less fit
failed heart in a strong body
less confident less brash
tagged by this century's introspection
aware the success machine
the American Century
is broken, rusting

Father, we are one - failures!
Dregs of the drink called American Dream!

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