When we were young and in love and tempted
the existential fires of freedom,
you proffered me a possibility.
(Oh, you know who you were! Do not deny it!)
Choose, you said.
Choose the happy secure span of a mediocre artist
destined as dust for oblivion,
choose to sweat an anonymous life,
that the eternal marble halls of libraries and museums
will echo your name.
Which choice? you asked.
Of course I, being me and also myself,
chose the glory of history. I was smug. I was innocent.
A deal with the devil. Can I never retract?
Still no glimmers of success for me?
Happiness while living.
Glory after death.
What is the cheat for both choices?
Where is that wealthy patron?
Ah, is it you?
I shall sneak into the library with a small
chisel and prepare the spot for my name,
just in case.
Causes Mara Buck Supports
Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Amnesty International