The Expatriate

Frank Thomas Smith


The problem with most foreign lands
is that they're much too far away,
like the bleachers in Ebbett's used to be
before the debacle of technology.
Also, either they're terribly bland,
foggy, windy and damp, or,
if southerly, downright dangerous,
where bullets fly and sunscreen 21
can't ward off the assassin sun.

Why, then, does he dwell,
ducking and frying, far from the patria
he tearfully invokes over juice of the grape
at a sidewalk table of the corner taberna?
Call it if you will, with a shrug, "escape".
He'll smile and wave away a fly
or toss aside some graying hair
from his glabrous suntanned brow.
"Could be," he mutters, "but who cares now?"

He'll bid goodbye to you and,
sandal-clad as once Ulysses,
his uncashed pension check
snug against his bony chest,
walk along the winding lane
home to his lovely dark-tressed mistress
who waits with kisses and a wanton caress.

Foreign lands are far away,
it's true, but so is the expatriate.

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