A Fool Ponders Rules

“You know what you can do with rules,”
he said. “Give them to corporate heads
to ply the organizing tools
they need as their conglomerate spreads.
They’ll gobble up the poor in need
of meager wages at the cost
of laborers who fed that greed
before they found their jobs were lost.
Bequeath then to the privileged class
who seem to think that laissez faire
affords them license to act crass,
until they purge the guilt they bear
on those first scapegoats who agree
to give them moral solvency.

Bestow them on the Catholic Church
who need them to keep heathens out;
to bigots; members of John Birch
Societies who aim to rout
socialists; to those who need laws
in order to protect themselves,
but eke out an exemption clause
to put them right back on the shelves
once they’ve sufficient force to wield.
Impose them on advancing flanks
of demagogues to make them yield
from flogging us once we break ranks
and they can fend off felony
charges, but don’t pin them on me.”

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey, and works in New York. He's been published in Danger, Pleiades, Genie, Write On!, Red Owl, Blue Unicorn and Ship of Fools, among others, and moderates a Café Philo in Manhattan. Read other articles by Frank.