Alice Friman

Surely experience taught him,

when rapture,
like a white glow pursued, goes dim,
out of focus, blank,

that fortune
doesn’t always cycle.  And luck, earned
or not but strutted like a captain’s uniform,

is doomed to shrink
into a pocket: a lucky charm
reduced to the wad of paper it was wrapped in.

For didn’t I see—reflected in his eyes
that morning over breakfast—the town he built
to cradle the dream where his princess slept

crumble in slow motion, each cobblestone,
each rose-covered foolishness?  What was left
remained glued in his face—some wild     

hope a mother would have put, must have
before the deep seams of teasing disappointments
that age, when he wasn’t looking, had gotten ahead of him

to grind in.

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