Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thoughts on An Ordinary Man

Happiness, too, is inevitable.
-Camus, Rusesabagina

Evil comes
in power
in anger
in ease
in misguided neighbors
in difficult loyalties
in the shoddy quiet of despair.

He is a friendly man.
All souls are his guests.

Over cognac
over Bordeaux
over chilled beer
over the fragile fence
he considers the threats and offers.

Listening intently,
with great respect,
(refilling the glass)
he declines.

The messenger departs,

As the threats escalate

he works the little black book
of a lifetime's cognac guests:
Admonishing, pleading, demanding
one more concession of decency
one more grain of salvation
from any available soul.

Only this small thing
which you can do,
which you will always regret not doing, my good friend,
to spare my guests.

One more reprieve won
seventy days into the horror
and though he does not yet know it,
only six more to go.

A thousand souls and more
draw water from his well.