So what if after paying premiums
half a lifetime to defray expenses
that help secure glass houses with fences,
and not getting benefits in return,
I seem a bit flustered. Many millions
profit, inhabiting residences
built along the road of those defenses,
before which I beg with Odyssean
fortitude. What shall I do? Reprimand
thieves, who wrote up the deeds in the first place,
for swindling me of lawful tracts of land?
I’m so damned piqued I’d just as soon outface
Medusa’s snakes and let terror be damned,
except for fear that I might ruin my case.

But I blame the insurance company
that plucked the fruits of freedom’s fertile land,
pulled out its roots, then filed for bankruptcy
when a lawful claimant put out his hand.
Not for me the vistas of their mansions
which I must envy from my squalid room.
Homes I helped secure against corrosion,
I enter now with washrag and a broom.
Still I must do their laundry, cook their meals,
And pay taxes so their armed guardians
can enforce laws that make it hard to steal
back their ill-begotten acquisitions.
Is this then not enough reason to wait
and hope to God that their protective gate

is flung wide open and there’s a rummage
sale of the Bill of Rights those landlords took
from me, so that my future’s sabotaged?
Shall I blame with disdain the cunning crook
who stumbled across a roof as fragile
as the columns it lay on? No. I damn
those who let them move in such a facile
way, while affording them sanctions to cram
their pockets with those fruits that once were mine.
Then let them, who so smugly entertained
the hurricane that left me prone to pine,
wake up to find they’ve lost all that they’ve gained
at my expense. And let this poet’s art
impart to justice an auspicious start.

Born and bred in New Jersey, Frank worked in New York for many years. He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. Frank likes poets Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. Read other articles by Frank.