You’ll earn less than you feel you’re worth, Retire in debt; Old faces framed above the hearth Your name forget. And, friends forget your failings soon, But not your wife, Who carries them like an old tune— Or sharpened knife. You dreamed of politics and fame But that soon faded, As no one liked you, though you claim You’ve just grown jaded. You shuffle off to work each dawn, In every season; What little good you’ve come upon Comes without reason. 15 Sameness and chance, catastrophe And empty hours Will crowd out what you hoped would be Health, joy, and powers. You’ll read your children stories, teach Them how to pray; But God and tale and all you preach They’ll toss away. Pythagoras had a golden thigh, The legends tell, But yours of bone snapped with a sigh That night you fell. And though the doctor says it’ll mend With weeks in bed, You’ve seen your whole life’s downward trend Ends with you dead.