Croesus, My Country

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Croesus, My Country

Croesus stumbled
and laid back a war torn skin
for public autopsy.

With bruises bested
by emotional welts
too deep to be visible, he wept.

In the eye of the cyclone,
the earth’s erratic heartbeat
was his heart;
the blood drenching the soil
was his blood
and the screams of the mothers
came from his throat.

From Midas he inherited
his golden touch,
spewing riches tinged with decadence;
stroking the mind of man
and lulling into complacency
the aging neophyte.

Promising to pave
the illusory streets with golden bricks,
the purchase price was extracted
ounce by sweaty ounce
from the despairing brows
of the ages’ overburdened.

*****

We will again bathe our Croesus
in the River Pactolus.
We will anoint his open wounded heart
with the balm of Gilead.
He will stand again
with his ancient head in the clouds
and his heart in the eye of the cyclone.
And no longer will he permit
the mothers’ screams

to tear the earth apart.

art by Claudia Hallissey

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