Hostage to Catatonia
(after the sonnet style of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin)

Blank-faced, staring, catatonic,
unresponsive and withdrawn.
Symptoms manifest and chronic:
dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn.
This, our “leadership” forbidding.
Down the steep slope we go skidding.
Joe and Mitch and Nancy: old,
can’t recall the lies they told
every time their their lips got moving.
From the larynx past the brain
out the mouth and gone again.
Oligarchs not disapproving,
not the slightest bit distraught.
This is what their money bought.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2023