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Taxes (APM Marketplace; 4/14/13)

Authors: 
Rob Jackson
Year: 
2013
Journal: 
American Public Media

Taxes

He led a revolution once.
We all dream of it.

There you are, standing in the back of a jeep like Fidel,
waving to people on a crowded street.
You circle the post office each April 15th,
honking the horn at your comrades in line,
smiling and brandishing a Cohiba,
blowing fat smoke rings to show them
how easy it is,
how little you’re paying,
how zero can be enough.

It took years for the phone to ring
with the call he dreaded, the sniper shot
that left him slumped in his chair.
He hung up, called his son-in-law, an accountant,
and ended his resistance with payments, penalties, and pain.
Most revolutions end this way.
He knew that.

It must have felt good for a time, though,
the thrill of not paying.
For a decade he was Che.
For a decade my grandfather was king.