Madame Caillaux, Part 5 of 7
(The husband of Henriette is in a casino, playing
roulette, and not especially concerned about her
plight. The Hotel Dieux is a hospital alongside
Notre Dame Cathedral, in downtown Paris.)
5. Joseph Caillaux
When? The chips are down. This is a marriage,
this black and red. Rien ne va plus, he said!
Let's go! We came here in a horseless carriage,
tonight we'll have the sidewalk for a bed.
(My little joke.) What's that you say, mon vieux?
The Tax Bill? That's how politicians play it.
(This wheel will put me in the Hôtel Dieu!)
A private confidence -- you don't betray it.
A public face (it can't be otherwise)
is oftentimes at variance with the private.
But Calmette's type are sneakers, peekers, spies,
would wreck a man (and frequently contrive it!)
Mon brave, I'm not the man to fight a duel.
You risk your life, your health, or prosecution --
for what? You lose, you're dead. You win, you fuel
the anger of your foes. It's no solution.
She said she would. (I'll spin, and win for us!)
I've long since left off thinking of it. (Thus!)
Copyright © Michael Coy | Year Posted 2017
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