“The Circle We Share” By S. Michael Kozubek

Onward to knighthood,
gold, and glory,
glittering in the armor
of Armani suits,
Rolex and tanned bodies
reflecting the sun.
They find amusement
in lance and parry,
trampling others
under their steeds,
these 1 percent, aligning with the 5,
conquest and dominion
their thrill in being alive.

The throng beneath the glitter
is gifted with cold underground—
some toiling at two jobs picking fruit,
scrubbing floors and grease traps,
bussing tables, washing dishes, driving trucks.
Shivering some days on corners,
north wind rippling through cracked pores,
they huddle on dingy, drafty buses,
lurching along to work.

At 6 a.m. in coffee shops
the clatter of dishes and silver
while meat and eggs
fly off the grill
to truckers, teachers and guards.
Sleepy construction workers trudge past
hauling lunch pails and thermos, later
steel and rivets.
Day workers will lift 8 foot frames,
lug them on sore backs
across rocks and debris before
heaving them into foundation holes.
The darkened faces of coal miners,
lineage of grandfathers, fathers and sons,
blackening lungs with soot and grime
working underground,
with moles and rats peeking
through cracks at the sun.
Having left bloody limbs,
veterans return again from wars,
finding not work or help
but hope and pride trampled.
Skeletons all supporting
thrice their weight,
picked clean of flesh and fat—
vultures would pass over such bones.

Even the weary ancient ones
who fought for the 40 hour week,
medical care and pensions,
deprived of morsels, their heads battered,
see now their victories torn away
in a world of 24/7.
Even the 1 percent execs in
smartphone shackles
share the burden,
mechanized beyond
any industrial assembly line,
all in a treadmill of chains now,
the circle we share,
tugging and cursing in vain.


After retiring from practicing law in juvenile and criminal courts, S. M. Kozubek devotes more time now to writing poetry (especially short-form like haiku and tanka), short stories (adult and children), flash fiction, plays and other works. He also leads writing workshops. His poems have appeared in ICON, Journal of Modern Poetry, Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Prune Juice, bottle rockets, Acorn, Skylark, Atlas Poetica, and Break the Cycle. His Poem “The Pump That Could Not Sump” received the 2014 chicagopoetry.com Poet Laureate of Rhyme Honorable Mention.

One thought on ““The Circle We Share” By S. Michael Kozubek

  1. Pingback: “The Circle We Share” By S. Michael Kozubek | kazoo

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