Charles Chaim Wax
To Aspire To Greatness Beyond What Is Granted - Poem by Charles Chaim Wax
When I entered my sister’s apartment
Howard sat slumped on a chair
“Comancheros, ” he said,
“when men were strong,
not an over the hill dinosaur
waiting for the final tumble-down.”
“With John Wayne? ” I blurted out.
“The King himself.”
“I thought Elvis was the King.”
“King of the Eskimo Pies, ” Howard chuckled scornfully.
Then he stared intently
at his wife and moaned,
“We ain’t never gonna
be rich, darlin’.” He paused
shifting his gaze to me, “Who’s gonna
free ole Howard
from the Poor house?
“Well, uh, how much cash
you talkin’ about? ” I asked.
“Don’t listen to him, you moron, ”
my sister said, “that was his big dream when he was a kid:
To be rich.
well, we’re not rich,
probably never going to be rich unless…”
Not finishing the sentence
she flipped into hysterical laughter.
At last calm she said,
“…Howard croaks on the job.”
Celestial mirth once more.
Unbelievably Howard began to sob
from behind a mask of hands.
I was shocked—
a grown man weeping
before my very eyes
yet at sixty the yawning maw of the Void
could crush even a strong man
and Howard was no tough galoot—
childhood dreams now
irrevocably beyond his grasp
not one of my many problems
because I couldn’t recall a single one
so I said cheerfully,
“Kogaku Roshi says, ‘Expect nothing’”
“Ain’t never bought a new car, ” Howard sighed,
“ain’t never been to Disneyland neither.”
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