IF ONLY
by Brian C. Felder     Call Us A Work In ProgressLife, with all its moving parts,
is a profoundly complicated business ~
a ‘process’, as people are fond of saying ~
most often experienced in a linear fashion,
replete with a beginning, middle and end.
But therein lies the wrinkle,
for, on occasion, you get the punchline first
and have to guess at the joke’s set-up.
Other times, you walk into the middle of something
and wonder the hell is going on here.
Things have a way of surprising you that way,
which is why it takes a lot of living to suss it out,
assuming that you ever do and, then,
who would begin to believe you?     If OnlyTo take another writer out of context
and paraphrase him at that, I do believe
that what is ‘sauce for the burglar’
should also be ‘sauce for the burgher’,
that guys in ties must perforce
do the time if they do the crime.
If the law is good enough for the mug
than it can be equally applied to the smug;
to the exec who cheats on his income taxes
or the priest who fiddles with his altar boy
or the banker who cooks his books for profit
or the butcher who weighs his thumb on the scale
or the merchant who short changes his customers.
There is no end to this list, if the truth be told,
so never forget that the petty thief in a hoodie
is just the unlucky version of an Armani’ed CEO
and wouldn’t it put a smile on your face to see
them all dining together on prison food?
I’d pay good money to witness that (who wouldn’t?)
but as tickets to “Hamilton” are easier to come by,
don’t hold your breath.     There But For The Grace Of GodLooking back, as old men do,
I can say, for a fact, that I was
both a homely and mouthy child,
not one any amorous adult of either gender
might choose to arouse and abuse.
But as I watch our latest Pope of Rome
remove the red biretta of a sinning Cardinal,
I am reminded of the blond-haired, blue-eyed boy
that was my best friend in youth.
Surely, he was an object of desire
and must have known the inappropriate advances
of men and women alike.
If we were still close,
I might ask him about that,
but time pushed us apart, as time does,
and I’m only left with my suspicions.
On hindsight, I am grateful that I was
both a homely and mouthy child
for it spared me much, I’m sure.
That no one wanted my company then
seemed hurtful to me, but I know now
how damn lucky I was to have been left alone,
untouched.    About the Author:Brian C. Felder began 2019 ~ his fiftieth and final year in the poetry biz ~ with a lifetime batting average of .283, which is to say that he has seen 351 of his 1,237 poems published, these appearing in 135 different print magazines in 39 separate States and the District of Columbia. From the Midwest originally, Felder now writes from his home in rural Delaware.
   

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