Feebler Hands

Salaried caretaker,
where once on the right hand
Sons and daughters,
by convention and love
Were honored to sit –
but now in our present hour,
The present value’s net,
this balance book of time
Ledgers of benefits and costs
assigned to filial piety
Are reckoned lines
in weekly paychecks to strangers.


Is service diminished then,
by transactions
Between the governed
and the government?
When the exchequer
of a king seated high
His former office to supply
a ready hand for war
Is turned,
all compassionate,
to duties better tendered
By feebler hands
with lesser reaches
and higher dividends.

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