Howard Firkin
(Sufficient Rope)
In that imagined land the children hope
until they’re old enough to act and know
that Santa is an honest fraud. They grow
to work and earn themselves sufficient rope.
Ideals are framed and hung on every wall.
The heroes of that land are sharp enough
to gorge and wax as fat as other adders,
insinuate their way up corporate ladders,
and keep their consciences as clear as slough;
rogue musketeers whose cry is, Free-for-all!

At night the land is lost: a fog of dreams
arises from its swamps of thick intrigue.
We dream of change. Asleep, it almost seems
as possible as yesterday’s fatigue.