the grist for their grind

we grit out the daily grind
between the mortar and pestle
of a society possessed
by opposing fantasies
of the working poor—
one shimmering with all the promise
of a verdant green mirage
exposed as the grinning skull
of the desert-starved
and dune-thirsted weary traveller;
the other a passionate fist
pounding down all the judgment
of a fire-and-brimstone door-to-door salesman
masquerading as judge and priest.
we pay the usurers’ indulgence
for a quick shot out of limbo—
out of limbo, sure, and knee-deep
in the seventh ring.
one dream glitters with promise
for the gold pot waiting at the end of pilgrim’s progress
one dream crucifies the welfare scapegoat of the many
for the glamorous excess of the few
but we’re neither here nor there
no, we lie between the two
convenient, invisible
the grist for their grind


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