On the trains on narrow tracks
And stuck in chains of panting cars
Stretched straight as far as their eyes
Can see, the weary men roll home,
Heading back with a heavy sentence
They know will not be commuted.
The governor is no help in such matters,
Though at rare times he pardons others
Committed to another deadly waiting game
For having failed to catch the only train allowed
Whose price is suicide by slow ingestion
Of the poisoned values of a mad society.
The men themselves have long lost hope
That they could change their self-made graves
Into anything resembling human lives.
So north and west, south and east
They crawl, newspapers held like crutches
Under their hangdog office boy arms,
Attaché cases swinging in lieu of life
They obediently resigned for love of wife
And the cold comfort of a modest ranch
House, identical to their neighbor’s in every way
With the sole exception the degree of desperation
With which they style their lovely languid lawns.
What do they think, these men devoid
Of souls? What do they tell their gods
When they genuflect before their checkbooks
In daily acts of avid adoration? Do they
Say their mothers always wanted it
For them, or daddy taught me to be a man
And shoulder the wheel of corporate responsibility?
What do they say, these men, what do they pray?
As usual, I suppose, they repeat what they’ve
Been told. They say, “Oh God, I trust
In thee, I must I trust, I read it on
The bill today, and guide me, please,
I’m almost home, almost home and dead
And need a drink, or two, or three.
Oh how the men roll wearily home
From a hard hard-headed day’s work
At nothing. As they wipe their feet
Of the day’s shit, they read the rug
That’s slowly slipping out from under
Them: Welcome Home, Welcome Home,