Listening to the Leader

He stands and speaks, that regal man
In a fine suit and youthful face,
Though well into his middle age. We listen

Around in a circle, thousands of us
In the capital, where he speaks
With his wife by his side, wearing silk.

I cannot see between the crowd,
But what’s more, is my heart won’t speak.
He fills my ears with gold, and his wife
Sits there with a smile that only luck can bring.

I cannot see between the crowd
While my heart’s run amuck, all tangled up.
The fine man’s still speaking, while his wife
Looks at us with the eyes of a scorpion.

I cannot see between the crowd
But he cannot see me either.
He passes laws, takes our stuff,
And flies the flag in a fine salute.

We cannot see with open eyes.

Loosely paraphrased from the Chinese poem “都人士,” which is in the Shijing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.