SHRUG FROM ABOVE, SHRUG FROM BELOW
(For the short-lived Occupy Movement)
Did the wren say “Occupy!”? Sounded like a cackle.
So much depends upon full-throated protests
where no one listens except the panhandlers
looking for the best spots to put their coin pots in.
Did Wall Street listen? Will child labour cease in
Bangladesh? Brave hearts will yell, some get jailed.
Most curse the dark, but would not light candles.
What else is new? That’s what mouths are for, eh?
The wren on top of the dead cherry tree shakes snow
off its wings, skips on to a larger branch, cackles,
and flies off to a garbage bin at the Seniors Home
where even that is sheltered from revisiting snow.
She looked out of her frosted window,
saw the scavenging bird peck a hole
into one of the handsomely-lined bags,
and screamed: get the damn bird off
those garbage bags, shut its cackling up!
The building superintendent looked up
at her, shrugged, and sipped his cold tea.
It is a wren, missus, and it's better off
in the dumpster than on the dead tree.
Better for it to eat dirty than fly hungry.
The wren stayed silent, missus cackled.
Healthy worms wriggled out of the bags.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA