Forty years on firehouse job, 'til today at morgue...,
Weekly payroll deductions cast good-spell on Montag.
A final evening after work, age 64, S.S. claim filed,
he washed dishes, bagged & took-out garbage,
walked downstairs, suffered pain, chest & back,
fell backyard upon lawn, a pigeon took off from roof,
black garbage bag burst,
chicken bones, spaghetti remnants on grass,
call it bad luck, 'too bad,”
made it until “paddles” did not work,
Montag did not feel ambulance tires hit potholes,
suppose loved ones grieved, prayed to Fire gods;
last thing he remembered, Millie's weeping, hands-over-face.
“We've got to start somewhere here, figuring out why we're
in such mess, you and pain-medicine nights, and the car,
me and my work..., We're headed right for the cliff, Millie.”1
Montag was energy & science says energy cannot be destroyed.
Lifetime Social Security contribution$,
gone to Federal budget-pie, his earthly toil, only make-believe.
An “Average Joe,” at 64, father of none,
Montag never reached S.S. System payoff-time.
He saw a healthy Congressional procession at wake,
they seemed sad, did not need his votes anymore,
fragments of incinerated paycheck-stubs floated in air,
they completed airborne-journey, energy fell to ground,
pigeons mistook burned pay-stub residue for food.
Montag's gone, no more Ayn Rand books around-neck,
without him around, aged “outreached-hands” no more,
at 61, & slouching toward retirement, I celebrated, sang,
“another one bites the dust; you can beat him, you can cheat him!”2
US Social Security & Medicare, a tad more solvent,
& Millie's still crying, in soloist pain.
Recommended for You
1. From “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury.
2. Lyrics from rock & roll song by “Queen.”