Today's poem is by Joshua Mehigan


The past is fiction,
their will our reason,
and hope an addiction
in that hard season
where our chronic souls'
unalterable goals,
our noblest and best
ideals, deserve us.
People are nervous,
but privately, lest
all that remain
of subclinical pain
be a neat suture.
In our gray future
narcotics are pap
and culture is junk.
Between frozen trunk
and quickening sap,
the civic bargain
is hardly struck.
Hope is furniture.
Survival is luck.
Ethos is jargon.
And once you learn it you're
utterly mastered;
or touched, like Nero,
beautiful bastard,
vestigial person
watching things worsen,
scapegoat and hero.

Copyright © 2005 Joshua Mehigan All rights reserved
from The Optimist
Ohio University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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