by Paul Hooker

Dies as though it were a way of living;
chooses not to live but not to die,
as though to live or die were things one chooses.

Curses as though it were a way of blessing;
cherishes the grifter and the con man
as though it were more blest to take than give.

Raves as though it were a way of thinking;
conjures up phantoms and chimeras
as though the truth were of her own creation.

Forgets as though it were remembering;
demands quick answer to her question
as though she can recall what she has asked.

Sh shivers in the tattered shawl of purity,
her costume in this mummery of rectitude.
She improvises on her battle hymn

while the better angels of her nature
strike no more the mystic chords of memory,
sit silent and abandoned on the roadside

and weep. And weep. And weep.