FROM A PHOTOGRAPH OF JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

In a straw hat with
a shiny silk ribbon,
let’s say red,
the old goat
is more shriveled
than a Sioux at
a hundred and twelve.
In another culture,
he would have been
buried alive.

I see the children
dressing him up,
wiping the drool
from his chin,
propping his head
for the still life,
rubbing his eyes
to make them shine.

His lips sucked in tight,
the skin hangs in creases
like threadbare cloth,
less vital than the work
of a jungle head dryer.

John D., it has come to this,
in a double‑breasted suit
with matching vest and
a diamond stick pin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.