She had come to assume
That the continuity, the regularity of full moon
After full moon, the prosperity that extended
Year after year, meant that she could count on
The public trust, that she would spend her last days
In well-governed cities, that her money
Was protected, insured, that somewhere, in some
Underground vault, where it was safe from theft,
Was shining metal. She dreamed of spending
Her last years sailing untamed seas or
Reading a book under an olive tree,
Never thinking that it would come to this….
That the sky would turn to lead and cupboard bare,
Bed cold in winter with her empty stare.
Her father had told her bankers could be fair,
Would never smile and befriend you without
Enduring belief they would not deceive you,
Not to your face, not lie and cheat in ways
Entirely legal. Now she wanted to string
Barbed wire around their altars,
Burn their office desks, place sentries
Outside their doors or just lock them away
Forever in their greed, forcing them to consider
What they had done to those without a face.
There is always such a weight that comes
With fearful knowledge, always the suffering,
Always the hope their shame would minimize
The profits that they made, beat their breasts,
Weep over the desolation forever caused by greed.
It was not the poor immigrant who stole
Across the border that brought the system down;
Not the welfare cheats who’d lost their pride.
The stone that brought Goliath down was
Well-aimed by the upright crowd, the ones
In suits and ties, driving German cars and
Watching athletes at their games.
Now it was too late to hope for help to come,
Government after government sank
Under the cloud of accumulated debt rated AAA.
She looked over her shoulder and her
Retirement fund was dry….
No promises were kept because another wept.
This was not the result of marching boots
Invading or bombs falling from the sky.
This was not done by foe, but it carried the same
Weight, same fear, same dismay of crushed hopes.
And the only majesty she could muster was rage.