Poetry | Louis xvi

Poetry | Louis xvi

Louis xvi

© 2017, 2021 Vernon Miles Kerr

There’s smugness in those

With absolute power,

A blindness to history,

Unwarranted ego:

“I’m so unique and great

I’ll be the first to avoid that fate.”

Louie’s wife said “No bread?

Then call for cake,”

More in ignorance than disdain,

But later saw the torches coming

Out her leaded window pane.

The elastic can only stretch so far

Before always snapping back.

It’s a law of Nature more resolute

Than Newton’s apple-smack.

We First-Worlders tout Democracy,

And some of us smugly laugh

At strutting tonsured despots

Who hurl pathetic threats

From behind the parapets

Of tiny, impotent realms,

While we—oblivious—are strung

Like marionettes, to a devious despot

Far more to be feared

Than a Louie, Adolph or Kim Jong-un,

Who has captured the Gates

Of Medicine, of Sustenance, of Fuel,

And now — even Governance,

Who exacts a toll when we pass through,

Which we naively pay in gratitude

As our purchases assuage our certitude.

He’s a puppet-master of our own making,

A Frankenstein’s Monster, stitched from

Parts of a cadaverous economic order,

Yet walking, but streaming a gagging stench—

Presaging death—behind.

The elastic can only stretch so far,

Before always snapping back.

Louie was downed by a starving rabble,

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But be encouraged:

Today’s monstrous ruler shall be

Hanged from a virtual yardarm

By a connected, savvy rabble,

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