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The Lean Old Men

The lean old men in my vicinity
wake to find themselves a day older
then turn away from the mirror to reflect
on their miserable circumstance.
Then they masque their decay with cologne,
snap on their one-piece spandex sportswear
and wheel off to meet their ancient colleagues for tea.

Along the way they blast glances at a car
that dares to edge past with its foul exhaustion
until at last, snapping locks onto spoked wheels,
the knights errant mingle at tea, glorious
in their molded aerodynamic helmets.

They are one for all, and all for themselves,
and their speed dials connect to the bank, the spa,
the athletic wear store, the restaurant, and the escort service,
for after their sweat grey romp across town,
they whirl into the finest hotels by the harbor where they strip, shower,
wrap their wrinkles in snow white terry towel shrouds,
and await the knock of their Tuesday morning girl.

From their Victorian styled suites with golden phones for service
they call their brokers and shuffle stocks in their decks till
check-out time. They glare at an insouciant desk clerk
whose obeisance has not been forthcoming and, quickly insulted,
call the general manager and have her job, as promised.

Long, long is the bicycle ride home that stops them for the evening.
wife the third proffers white wine in fluted crystal, laments her
feverish responsibilities as a Matron of the Arts (ignored, of course
by the lean old men who slide into their pyjama suits
and slumber by the fire while Rachmaninoff plays his Second.)

They will die—just not today,
for tomorrow is still their fat child,
waiting to be eaten.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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