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Inexorable Fate

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.


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