The Road That Once Was His

Smiling still, his face suggests no fear for freedom’s fire
Surely he’d doused it all; he’d tamed the people’s ire.
They had asked no questions; he’d hushed them with a crack-
A trail of lead in the head- two more in the back.
Had he not made them marvels? Won their bloody war?
Whose name decked the marvels? Whose decked the graveyard’s floor?
Then he’d played the chemist and into open wounds
Pressed hot words and saffron, and turned tigers into goons.
But the tear marks came, his face soon lost its hue
Underneath that tattered sheet, the wall that once was blue
Came the need for desperate change. You’ll see it in the cracks:
The hungry face for a freedom lost somewhere down the track.
Still he waits there smiling, lost in silent bliss.
And every man walks past him, on the road that once was his.

S.S. Bartlett