Ralph E. Martin

(Richmond, Virginia)

Boss

In dining room smelling of rooks' wet wing
Hot coals burn in place of her eyes
As she crunches small birds for lunch
And yells, "Worthless, accursed idler:
The taste for play when one is grown
Lays hold of empty hearts and heads."

I look at portraits of old men
On walls, their eyeballs expanding

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