Laws are like sausages; it is better
not to see them being made.
A green Treasury lawyer
who’s just turned the Senate Whip
and denied a sulphur miner
the tax break it had scrounged,
bursts from white floodlit Rotunda
and swoops down the Hill's four flights
to victory dinner with his wife.
Their lobbyist phones at eight;
no hello, no good morning:
You did that, didn't you,
you little son-of-a-bitch?
Well son, in thirty minutes
you're gonna change your mind.
Click. Half an hour later,
his boss stands at his door,
weight on one leg, then the other:
The Chairman called. I'm sorry, but...
you know, he's from their state.
If mining's out, he'll kill the bill,
so, well... you understand...
falcon dreams were gone for good.
("Fledgling" appeared in PN Review, January-February 2015.)