The Conquering Hero is Tired
by Charles Simic
Often I sit at your window
For Hours on end watching you snooze.
You could be in medical school
Sawing a cadaver.
You could be leading men into battle,
Donning judicial robes,
Inventing a new potato peeler, and so forth.
My kind admonition, my well-meant
Remonstrances you receive
By turning your face to the wall.
Blue dusk and the night's gloom
Are your true cronies.
Streets time forgot where fire-sale leaflets
Fly about, the ten-year-old assassin
Twirls his gun, the cats shield themselves
Under rusted cars.
For Christ's sake, turn off the light you plead.
I'm afraid it can't be done.
The bright sunlight, the blue sky,
The little birds hopping and chirping on the sill
Are all perfectly legal.