by Marc Vincenz
for John Adolphus Pope
City at the end of strife
far from the cry of borstal whippersnappers.
Mother calls her ladies an outpost of the foreign legion
& pours with abandon as if this may be her last cup yet.
She offers slices of fruitcake & waves away the flies.
Father sells opium to appease her majesty.
Sarah & I play croquet on the lawn.
A hundred years from now a junta will oppose
everything we’ve made from scratch.
I say Praise the Industrial Revolution
but observe the gaping hole in our constitution.
Monkeys can scream all they want
at the burning pagoda, but the moon is still gone.
What an embarrassment.
You know, you can never please the natives.
previously published in Right Hand Pointing