by Don Gordon
They are waiting for the night visitor
Who comes unseen through the iron grid.
They are praying for the family jewels
Or the sacred white jaguar
Locked in its cave in the dark.
Meanwhile the dehydrated old man
Is dying of loneliness in his house.
The widow next door strangles a cat for the same reason.
The husband and wife in the doomed bungalow
Are on the crumbling edge of mayhem.
A country in love with itself
Cannot regurgitate its worldly goods in time.
It awaits the millennium in the museum
Where the stuffed eagle stares with glassy eyes
Into the lean and ghostly past.
(from Don Gordon: Collected Poems)