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Without their Medals

To look at them, you’d never guess

who they are

they laugh you in the eyes with their

single-syllabled grins


wear simple clothes

guide you through

their most complex thoughts

with amiable shrugs


as if they were reciting

an interesting passage

from Alice in Wonderland


you could pass them in the street

without a second glance

their faces an assorted collection

of Mr. Anyone, Farmer Jones, Miss Plain


they don’t wear their Nobel prizes

their Pulitzer decorations

keep their degrees, medals and titles

in their office closets


the news items say

the world will never be the same

because of something

they wrote, discovered, imagined


but to look at them

you’d never guess

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© Johnmichael Simon



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