kerkevik_2014 (kerkevik_2014) wrote,

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POEM: The Leader by Sharon Olds (#5 for National Poetry Month in Canada and the US)

   Missed yesterday for... reasons. 

   Had the book this comes from for a while now, but only found it again last night; thanks to a kitteh climbing where he shouldn't so, with thanks to Ryouh here is a poem sadly pertinent for the times in which we live. 

   The Leader by Sharon Olds (from One Secret Thing publ. by Cape Poetry) 

   Seeing the wind at the airport blowing on his hair, 
   lifting it up where it was slicked down, you 
   want to say to the wind, Stop, that's 
   the leader's hair, but the wind keeps lifting it 
   and separating the thin strands and 
   fanning it out like a weed-head in the air. 
   His brows look bright in the airport glare, 
   his eyes are crinkled up against the sun, you 
   want to say to his eyes, Stop you are 
   the leader's eyes, close yourselves, but they are 
   on his side, no part of his body 
   can turn against him. His thumbnail is long and 
   curved - it will not slit his throat for the 
   sake of the million children; his feet in their 
   polished shoes won't walk him into the 
   propeller and end the war. His heart won't 
   cease to beat, even if it knows 
   whose heart it is - it has no loyalty to 
   other hearts, it has no future outside his body. 
   And you can't suddenly tell his mind that it is 
   his mind, get out while it can, 
   it already knows that it's his mind - 
   much of its space is occupied with the 
   plans for the marble memorial statues 
   when he dies of old age. They'll place one
   in every capital city of his nation 
   around the world - Lagos, Beijing, 
   São Paulo, New York, London, Baghdad, 
   Sydney, Paris, Jerusalem, 
   a giant statue of hi, Friend to the Children 
   of the leader's country - 
   which will mean all children, then, 
   all those living.

   Goddess watch over us all, 


   Kerk TehKek 

Tags: poetry, sharon olds
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