Triumphal Return, by David Chorlton

The exiled dictators
stir their martinis
in the tropical shade
while they wait
for their time to come around again.
They open their mail
hoping for a signal

to put on their dark glasses
and return to the palace balconies
above the crowd
in their apartments with a view

across another country
they rehearse the speeches they will give
and accept the window’s applause.
Portly now
after years of inactivity
they plan to diet
for when their moment comes

and they stand before the people
promising a future like the past.
They will enjoy a long shower,
shave, pull a clean shirt from the closet,
brush their teeth, set their watches
and keep adjusting their ties

until the moment
the curtain is drawn
and they appear like nervous bridegrooms
when there is no turning back.
Their sources say
the day will be soon,

they need only have patience
and a maid
who does her job well. Everything depends
on her; the shoes must shine
like mirrors of death.

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