Before the investiture
Pre-patrician - how I hate that limp word!
Before you rose as if from nowhere
To grab the laureate
Tenured glinting but not shiny
For that would be crass
You still stroll among us after all.
The tales I could tell!
Hands waving and swatting
The irritant memorialized
Exhumer of old bruises
That's what I am now
When you rose up, that's what I became.
The shanty nettles
Smudged then wiped away
Lofty serfdom, huddled kin
It really wasn't bad, those days.
We tripped, we swore, we craned and cobbled
There's noble in the callus, the bent knees
The supermarket wine sloshed in mismatched cups
Sacred, before the sanctimony took you.
You don't walk so much as drift
Hovering – no, skimming!
Minimalist humane, foggy apparitional, minced
I pity the poor Spartan
Who looks for you now.
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