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Floral Arrangement 

While it is true that power corrupts
and that ultimate power corrupts absolutely,

It is also true that power often unexpectedly blossoms:
Soso as a boy, after all, was a sickly child who barely survived

the brutal wrath of his drunken father, and his mother
taught the boy to walk by first holding out a camomile flower

so that he would follow her. Later, she used her breasts!
Keke thought her son a religious miracle.

Who then might have expected,
least of all himself, that the young man she sent off

on the train to school to study to become a priest
would lower himself onto the throne

of self, and become Stalin, the monster,
the man who held out his hand

while uncounted millions fell all around him
like the petals of so many ruined flowers?

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David Holper

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