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Poetry: Politics


Imagine Midas with a Leaden Touch.
Imagine the Golden King suddenly Iron,
waking, unknowing, reaching to don
his gloves.

Gloved and on the throne, his curse
no longer feeding trade and purchase, 
the King does not change roses
into the price of grain.
                        His golden child,
so long ago lost, in an absent moment,
is made dull as the thunderous sky.

In the streets, the people are afraid.
In the houses, they murmur over tables laden
only with fear.  In the field, no furrow is made,
no seed is sown.  Everywhere, the dark voice
of hunger complains.
                    "Let them make shot."
Iron for forges, lead for cannonballs.
"Let them make shot.

Let the hungry eat."

The Leaden King passes a tiny statue,
and abruptly brings down his fist.
"Gather the pieces, and let the hungry eat."
Clear-eyed, he goes to his chamber,
leaving on the cushioned throne
a pair of gloves.
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