(Is it good? Does it want to move the way you want it to move?)
It’s not at all graceful; it shakes as it’s led,
by the tug at its ankles and the pull at its head.
If there’s so little change, well it doesn’t complain
that most passers-by are unmoved, once again.
And then there’s the hand waving above it;
the hovering span on the strings that coerce it
to stagger and stumble across the old mat,
and that pockets the coins as they fall to the hat.
There are course jigs and reels in this wooden doll's dances
A dragging of heels to the indifferent glances
tottering turns and returns to the box;
the sham-merry tunes and the click of the locks.
Today as the puppet obeyed its control bars,
I saw a new crowd with their tents and their banners.
Above them the balconies filled up with laughter;
filled up with Gucci, Armani and ’99 Taittinger.
They stared at the masses that flowed past beneath them.
They preened and they pointed; mocked and waved over them.
And the marchers held fists up in weary defiance,
as if tugged on by strings in a marionette dance.
Call and response in these pepper-sprayed dances;
Force and resistance; retreats and advances.
The puppets refuse to return to the box,
or the sham-merry tunes or the click of the locks.