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Greed beyond Avarice

What if a parade were called
and every person in North America
showed up
to be in this one-hour walk?
Let’s say marchers were assembled
according to accumulated wealth,
the poorest leading off.
Wealth would correlate with height.
For the first ten minutes
there’d be nothing to see
because the “marchers” are
underground; they’re net debtors
mucking about in the dark,
out of sight, where dreams
are inked out.
For the next ten minutes
the marchers are above ground,
but very tiny,
in rags and hungry.
Easy to step on
by accident or just carelessly.
Even intentionally.
After 20 minutes the marchers are
the size of dwarves,
At the half-way point,
30 minutes into the parade,
the marchers stand 5’6” and
continue to grow
an inch or so every minute
until the last few minutes when
they are 16 or 17 feet tall, then 20,
then 30. These are well-heeled marchers
in lockstep, the dance of dogma,
well fed, well dressed in
designer blinkers.
Otherwise naked, clutching
only their most cherished illusions.
These are the aspirants
to unlimited wealth,
their sole measure of worth.

In the last few seconds
giants more than 1,300 feet tall
stride by, their heavy heels
shaking the ground, jouncing
the little people up front
and frightening the
dispossessed subterraneans.
The next small number of marchers
are truly on high, their heads
above the clouds, more than a mile up.
From there it’s hard to assess
the damage of one’s footfall.
None of them tries.
With less than one-tenth of a second remaining
the elite—the crème de la crème
is on parade
standing between 21 and 121 miles high,
bearing the burden of beasts.
These lusus naturae possess
wealth beyond cupidity,
standing tall while standing accused
of crimes against human kind.
Then the supreme moment—
North America’s richest man (what else?)
is crossing the start line. Is he waving? Smiling?
None of us would know. For Chrissake
his head is 272 miles above ground.
If this parade were held on a sunny day
at any time other than
high noon
his fuliginous shadow

H. Rae Aston (h.rae.aston [at] is a sculptor, poet, and former journalist. He lives on the shore of the Mille Îles River, north of Montreal, and has been for most of his life an advocate and fighter for socialist governance. Those efforts continue.

2011, Volume 62, Issue 09 (February)
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