Limbo Expectations
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

His predecessor set the bar too high
Against which standard George could not compete
So he portrayed a down-home country guy

With earth beneath his fingernails and feet
A simple sod whose plain speech testified
To limits on the few goals he might meet

Some drugs in youth his synapses had fried
Yet few could see the gangrene and the pus
That kept infecting everything he tried

So anything he did would seem a plus
If nothing that he ventured let us know
The route of his careening wayward bus

He talked the expectations down so low
That he had nowhere upward left to grow

Inoculated thus against high hopes;
Protected by not promising a thing,
Like Sancho Panza on his mule he lopes

Considering a last defiant fling
Against some Persian windmills in Iran
Once Don Quixote Cheney makes him king

He promises that this time he will plan
And not let dreams and fables fill his head
But will instead act grown up like a man

And not continue piling up the dead
And not flush billions down the drain each week
And not cringe in his sheltered bubble bed

While Party plumbers try to plug the leak
He swears he’s not a liar and a sneak

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006