Seen This Before (new poem by Marius)

Seen This Before

Once on a snowy Detroit street, I saw a dog I knew

Crouched, tail-tucked and teeth-bared,

Freezing and arrested in the the road

The Pound’s truck parked

Engine running, door flung open

And a man in uniform, purring love-words, recklessly,

A hand held out in friendship

While the other one, the driver,

Hung back quietly, looking for the net and noose…

This moment like an image in a snow globe

Unveils itself to me as I listen to the radio,

The tone and timbre of the bi-cameral address contested and considered by journalists

(like King Louie in his Hall of Mirrors, an eternal royal image in procession becomes the media’s reflection and obsession)

And the ostensibly more mellow autocrat was quoted for our endless delectation

As he speechified before the howling mob, barking in response to

The singing, soothing and smoothly blandished platitudes of unity

And some seem mesmerized by this new manner and have paused in hope,

But like my friend, the old dog – who had to learn sly new human tricks-

I realized that these soft words can only mean

That right this moment, someone else behind the scenes

Is carrying the stick