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Sunday, May 17, 2020


by Ed Shacklee

There is no bottom here, I’ve found:
the water’s swirling round and round.
We’re going down the drain, I fear,
for there’s no bottom here.

We have a circus but no bread.
There is no heart, there is no head,
the end, however, can’t be near:
there is no bottom here.

Our leader leads us from behind.
He tells us that we shouldn’t mind
attempts to make us disappear,
for there’s no bottom here—

there’s only down, and down we sink,
too dumb to care, afraid to think.
What’s brinkmanship without a brink?
Don’t worry, for it’s very clear
there is no bottom here.

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who lives on a boat in the Potomac River.  His first collection The Blind Loon: A Bestiary was published by Able Muse Press in 2017.