Down in December

Down in December

Down in December, the ground cold and hard,
alone at the table, the gambler plays his final card,
stands up, looks out the window,
nothing there but a black blur of distant trees.
His hand in his damp pocket, he fiddles for his keys.
Finds them, goes out, drives away in his car.
Only he knows where his home is and how far.

The worst rain he could remember
pelted on his windowpane,
took in the confusion from his newspaper,
the war between the unhinged and the sane.
He watched a documentary
on his upper eyelid screen,
the witness not the director,
had no control over any scene.

If youth is wasted on the young, he thought,
age is wasted on the old.
In all the songs that have been sung
not every truth is told.
He could work in a diamond mine
but not get much pay.
Precious stones may glint and shine
but they are hid away.
No, they are not for you,
he warned his fellows in his mind,
but the owners you never see.
Do not wonder why no one rebels,
you know there is no place to be free.
He had played croquet on summer lawns,
skied down winter slopes.
He never lost interest in the world
but never really learned the ropes.


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