By Gary Beck
PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...
As the last footsteps fade away
from the grave-site of liberty
there are no lingering looks behind.
After years of blind belief
that we lived in a democracy
our last illusions dissolved
in the violent invasion
of the nation’s Capitol.
Americans watched on TV
as the police were overwhelmed
by hundreds of attackers
and no one sent reinforcements
to defend the seat of government.
Most of us went to public schools
where they filled our heads with ideals
that didn’t fulfill expectations.
Some of us got a painful dose
or relentless reality
that reminded us brutally
we were denied the promised dream,
not through faults of our own,
not having opportunity.
So we worked, waited for the light
and saw our hopes evaporate.
The world is ruled by the wealthy.
Sometimes they allow some of us
to use our talents and prosper,
always limited to a few
who encourage the rest of us
to think we could also succeed,
but recession, plague, disaster,
always return us
to poverty place.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 32 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays, and 5 books of plays. Gary writes from New York City.