All Clear

... from an old poem with Christmas overtones (the Holy Family, after all, were homeless at the time) called "All Clear".   Published about 10 years ago in Fulcrum magazine.  (Note : poem was written during the 2000 Presidential campaign.  Reference to "pallid prize" in penultimate stanza : there are 132 rooms in the White House.)
Christmas is coming      but here      in sleepy-febrile Florida
tied at the neck      under stage lights      one big brother
wrestles with another      and      when this battle is over
who will wear the crown?      as a gospel voice in the rotunda

croons in my ear      and as reporters cluster by the grave
of Robert Trout (“Iron Man of the Blitz”) and you perceive,
ephebe, the idiom of this      intervention      (requiem
for a midnight sun      or century)      and through the nave

today      they bore a body to the columbarium
(rotund profundity beneath nine bells)      only him
(Brown, William Wallace, Jr.)      a homeless man
and blind     who stopped the wheels of the imperium

one day      right on the street      asking the father of
George W.      please pray for me      and he paused there
(the President)      and said      come along with me
to St. John’s      we’ll pray together

the music of what happens      when      no man is
and the bell tolls for thee      like Janis Joplin’s
high note      who will wear the crown?      your doom
Kosmos      a little world      curls into bronze

and sounds      from the 132 rms of a pallid prize
to the 132 acres of N. Main Cemetery (Providence)
where you’ll find me (here now      there then) mourning
a vagabonded      end of century      where a dove strays
from San Francisco      down to Florida      an unknown
hobo Noman      left behind      his leaf gone brown
is your redemption      (sleepy time and railroad
nation)      W.W. is his name      crowned    here    and    gone

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