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Crash of Twenty Nine

In journals he had encountered them
heard about them on the news
men of the lost legion
those who had climbed so high to reach
the sun and plunged, ambitions singed
reputations scarred and stained
in the tar and skirmish of the ascent


This year they had fallen like confetti ghosts
single-minded dreamers of ticker tape
parades, turning, revolving in the air
dreams exhausted, illusions crumpled
on the pavement of big business
that knows no rules save greed
and unexpected events


Hiding in an alleyway of grief
he played an endless game of solitaire
against the dimming light, queen on king,
deuce on ace, between the garbage cans
of despair, where diamonds turn into spades
digging six feet in the sod of lumpy regret


How could he face them?
nameless card holders of the pyramid world
he had created, trusting families who
had bought the dreams, entrusted jars
of precious gathered pennies in the fool’s
gold of his cardboard game of chance
the cards had been played one last time,
knights on breathless steeds, panting guarantees
at door after door of promised fortune, to share
the golden castle in the sky, now burnt papers,
jeering embers of his folly


Forgive me!  he cried and fell
twisting over and over, body turned to rags
I did it for your sake, not for mine…
as in the avenue below children gaped in disbelief
and hunted round for fallen coins

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© Johnmichael Simon



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