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A man of a certain age, declining
with an empire at whose height he was born,
idles at a coffee shop in the capital.
On laptops of ambition
younger patrons tap out theses,
They could pose a threat,
or they could be scaling other ladders.
or they stand far enough below
that there’s no need to kick out
or grease the rungs they must climb.
Then again, they may be hunting the big game
that is going extinct in their fields.
These days, though, call for foraging.
Holding fast the bird in the hand,
the man of a certain age returns
to browsing a book on great dinosaurs
and mammals that moved underfoot.
J.D. Smith’s third collection, Labor Day at Venice Beach, will be published later this year, as will his first humor collection, Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth. His poems have appeared in journals and sites including 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry and Texas Review. He has work forthcoming in Dark Mountain 3.