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In the boredroom

Do they yawn, these masters
of our fate and wallets
as they cast their weighted
dice together, as they weigh
our lives and find them
negligible as we do when
we swat a fly?

Do they still find it
exciting as they plan
a war or an election,
a tax break or a politician
bought for less or more
than they judged him
worth? Is it still fun?

Is it just routine now—
a famine in Bangladesh
a strike crushed in West
Virginia mines, a plague
ignored in the Congo,
a carcinogenic drug
widely advertised.

The draperies are drawn.
We have no spies
in those high places.
Our phone calls recorded,
our IDs stowed in files
but they remain almost
invisible to us.

Marge Piercy is the author of nineteen books of poetry, most recently Made in Detroit (Knopf, 2015). Her first short story collection, The Cost of Lunch, Etc., was published in 2014 by PM Press.
2016, Volume 68, Issue 04 (September)
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