Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Office at the Cottage on the Moor

An Old Man Looks at his Office:
      And Likes What He Sees
          (A Haiku Inventory)
                by Jim Rapp
a door cut in the
west end of the south wall gives
entrance and egress

walls, well utilized,
hold up – or are held up by –
treasures old and new

a cheap Rockwell print
shows two old men quarreling
over great issues

a photo-cluster holds
eight four by six reminders
of friendship’s wages

gold-imprinted plaques,
signed by notables, declare,
“For Years of Service”

a large calendar
records the progress of a
little progress made

a Jesus plaque, shaped
as a copper fish, recalls
a young tinner-friend

decoupage gift-plaques
express regard from students
tutored years ago

a little brass bell
honors me, one who never
rang a true school bell

award pins – en-framed –
recall events of two lives;
my father’s and mine

photos celebrate
fifty years of faithful love
now increased by four

an eastward window
provides a year-round view
of squirrels at play

two knee wall shelves that
flank the view, bear a trove of
useless trinketry

a drama prop, kept
from Inn At Bethany, hangs
prominently proud

six-foot high bookshelves
flank a shorter one along
the entire north wall

a few score of books –
culled remnant of former days –
await re-reading

ad hoc studio –
tape decks, turn table, TV –
sits on shelves near by

in rows preserve a thousand
sermons, songs, and scenes

photo albums span
two clans’ generations and
many cherished friends

atop the shelves mugs,
once prized and diligently
sought, now gather dust

a south wall closet
built, of course, to hold wardrobe,
holds instead, supplies

furnishings profuse,
clamor to be named, so I
will do them honor

rug Ubiquitous
clone of all tan rugs – born in
Georgia carpet mill

ceiling light named Cloud
florescence hangs over head –
compliments Menard’s

“Tilt”, the floor lamp, leans
behind my chair sharing her
glow with the whole room

“Chair” – reclining type –
suits my present state of health,
sleep – then write – then sleep

a lap-top table
holds coffee, calculator,
and – surprise – lap-top

a nineteen-sixties
oak-frame chair – cloth pad and back –
waits for guests to come

“Guitar”, old, forlorn –
seldom played – hard to part with –
slowly gives up hope

putty colored files,
two drawers each, stacked with
papers to be filed

an Epson printer
hovers over plastic drawers
filled with this and that

a spartan desk from
Menard’s – via China – sits
under the window

a Dell “tower” and
monitor share desk space with
a phone and clutter

assortments abound –
photos in frames, little gifts,
things bought and not used

another eye might
view it all with scorn but I
have grown to like it

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Old Man’s Guitar
         (A Haiku Trio)
           by Jim Rapp

leaning long in dust,
wanting fingers, stiffened now
by age, to play it

slack-stringed, impotent,
guitar-shaped beauty with no
way to raise its voice

silent elements –
wood and steel and air, all of
low regard, alas

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shed No Tears For King Handkerchief
                     by Jim Rapp

Alas for the handkerchief,
a noble 14th century relief
for good King Richard (the 2nd)
and his drippy nose.
Because the faithful cloth
has made the “powers” wroth,
its long illustrious reign
is coming to a close.

Before King Rich was known
to blow his royal nose upon
a square of regal cloth
the handkerchief was King.
Its uses – far too long to list –
from head to waist and wrist,
in cold and heat alike,
made handkerchief the King.

In time of joy and time of grief
the handy hanky was, in brief
the only recourse, save the sleeve,
or, God forbid, a turned up slip.
But try to find a ready cloth these days
when tears – or something worse – dismays;
no male nor female can produce
from pants or purse a handkerchief.
The only time I really grieve the loss of handkerchiefs is when the modern replacement is nowhere to be found. (I’ve been reminded by one who never carries the cloth variety, that there is almost always toilet paper if “Kleenex” isn’t available. Good luck if you can get it.)

Well, it isn’t exactly true that the only time I miss the handkerchief is in the absence of its paper replacement. There are other times when I’m reminded of its utility.

Growing up in the mid-South I have memories of the handkerchief’s usefulness in all seasons and all domains. In summer large bandanas mopped our brows or, worn around the head or neck, absorbed the sweat that stung our eyes or soaked our shirt. Ladies dabbed the moisture from their face too “keep their powder dry.” Preachers proved their worth by the sweat their sermon generated, both in the pulpit and in the pew. Their gleaming white handkerchief was more than a mere “mop”; it was a prop and an essential part of the uniform. In pre-air-conditioning days the handkerchief doubled, mostly for women, as a fan and, in a certain kind of meeting, a “flag” to wave in praise of God.

Of course, winter was the kerchief’s season. On a good day, with a good head cold, one could soak a half-a-dozen hankies, and in an emergency borrow one, clean or partly used, from a generous friend. There were different theories about what part of the laundry the hankies belonged in; with the underwear, the tea towels, the bedding, the diapers. (Diapers is a subject for another blog, another day.) Every household made its own decision about what to combine them with in the laundry, but one thing was certain, each hankie had to be pressed. And dress hankies, particularly those used in the service of God, had to be bleached white from time to time. Bandanas and “work hankies” were less fussy but needed ironing nonetheless.

A handkerchief was a one-piece first-aid and tool kit. When noses dripped, or tears flowed, or someone sneezed, hankies were extended, some previously used, some used more than others. A skinned knee, or a gashed hand required the loan (no return expected) of a handkerchief. A freshly pulled tooth could be carried home to the tooth fairy wrapped in a handkerchief.  Likewise a biscuit or some hard candy could be “kept clean” in a hankie. One could use their hanky to shine their shoes, or wipe up spots from the floor, shine the jalopy, or clean their hands after fixing the car, but there was usually a price to pay for such uses.

The handkerchief was decorative as well. The well dressed man’s suit coat sported a specially folded handkerchief inserted in one of the breast pockets. And a lacey hankie could be tucked under the cuff of a lady’s long sleeved blouse, or dropped coyly as a gentleman passed, eliciting his assistance in retrieving it. These special handkerchiefs were not intended to be utilitarian but, in an emergency, the owner could display their selflessness by quickly offering their ceremonial hanky to meet the present need.

There is hardly anyone alive today who grieves the loss of hankies. Sniffling, or smearing on the back of the hand, or up the face, over the forehead and into the hair seems to be accepted remedies for a runny nose in the absence of the paper hankie, or its rolled cousin. There are, however, a few subversives who still tuck a hankie in their pocket or their purse in case they come upon an accident; a runny nose, a teary eye, or a bleeding wound in need of a tourniquet. But you will probably never see one waved again, in church, in praise of God.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making Sense with Pseudo-Science

            by Jim Rapp

What is the half-life of an idea?
Like all other elements
it depends where it sits
on the periodic table.

The half-life of a lie
appears to be forever
but truth alone is infinite.

The half-life of a promise
depends upon the half-life
of its issuer and the half-life
of the issuer’s wisdom and integrity.
The half-life of an invention
equals the square root of genius
minus the square of human
resistance times the square
of human restlessness.

The half-life of a politician’s
“firm conviction” equals
the shortest distance between two polls.
The half-life of “puppy love”
is the time between feedings.
The half-life of true love –
strengthened by a double bond –
increases toward infinity
in direct proportion
to the obstacles it overcomes.
The half-life of hope
is half the length of a human life.
The half-life of faith is forever!
Eternities of eternities.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Death to Malicious Anonymity

   e-mail interlopers
  ghosts of the internet
         by Jim Rapp

there are those
who cannot live in light
but thrive in
dark secrecy

in brighter light
we’ll see them
coming from the gloom
no longer faceless
whisper-thin wraiths
predicting doom
inventing proofs
to buttress lies
denying truth
before their eyes

someday the light
will show them
by ill-content
at all dissent
who willingly
deceived themselves
to keep alive
a cherished lie
for which
they wished
but couldn’t see

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Long Ago

Christmas Eve was a magical time for us kids. Of course I’m projecting my thoughts and feelings into the minds of my brothers and sister and my thoughts may not reflect theirs. One brother and my sister were six and seven years older than I was respectively. And even my other brother was a year and a half older. So their greater age may have jaded them a bit. I can’t say for sure. If it had, they didn’t let on.

I’ve wondered if poverty served to focus our enthusiasm for the holiday. There weren’t many new toys or gadgets coming into our lives throughout the year, but at Christmas we had reason to hope. The Sear Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and Spiegel’s Christmas catalogs were lying around thoroughly dog-eared from our continual searching and dreaming – and announcing what we’d like to receive. When gifts were opened on Christmas Eve they were seldom the things we had marked in the catalogs; those were too expensive. But in the excitement of the moment all our catalogue-dreams were deferred until the next year and we gladly received our new shirts and jeans and possibly some lesser toy.

But that was Christmas Eve and there was still hope for Christmas morning. For me, and I think for my brother just older than I, Santa Clause was a real, even if a rather rascally and mysterious, character. I don’t recall ever writing him a letter but somehow we knew that he was aware of our wishes. And theoretically he was not hampered by the same lack of resources that our parents were.  It was just possible that he might bring one of those cherished dreams to fruition, leaving it in or near a stocking (not a fancy one made especially for the occasion but more likely the one we took off just before running off to bed) hung over the post on the back of a dining room chair. Some things we knew would be in the stocking: an apple, an orange, perhaps a banana, and a plastic bag of candy. But there would be one other item, and our hope, as we were shooed off to bed, was that it would be the crown jewel of the season, the one thing we had drooled over in the previous weeks as we scanned and rescanned the catalogues.

Thus it was that one Christmas Eve – I’m guessing perhaps 1942 or 1943 – we were being urgently encouraged to get to bed so Santa could come. As usual we resisted, not wanting to relinquish a moment of the anticipation; knowing that sleep would not come easily if we went to bed too early. So we were all still gathered in the living room and the adjacent dining room when suddenly there was a sound of jingling bells and deep laughter. Dad ordered the kids off into the bedrooms that flanked the living room and dining room and warned us not to peek. I can’t swear that we didn’t peek a little but we saw nothing, only heard a brief excited conversation and sensed that things were being brought into house through the back door. When the commotion had died down and we heard the bells receding into the distance we were allowed to come out.

There on the dining room table were grocery sacks of food and another with toys. Santa had arrived early, Dad explained, and because there was no snow for his sleigh, he had commandeered the local fire truck in which to make his rounds. What an ingenious old fellow!

My gift was a small cast aluminum airplane with two engines and propellers that actually spun. It was no longer than four or five inches with a wingspan about the same. But it was beautiful and became a favorite toy for years afterward. I had seen nothing like it in the catalogues but nothing I had seen there, and dreamed of, was better than the gift Santa brought me that year.

It took us even longer to get to sleep that night but once we did another miracle occurred. Old Santa must have had second thoughts because, when we arose and went to our stockings in the morning, they were filled with apples, oranges, bananas and candy. But on top was yet another toy to enjoy while we waited for a meal, the likes of which occurred only once every year.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twelve Haiku For Christmas

(One for each of the 12 Days of Christmas)

The kids love the gifts,
and gifts define the season.
Why do you love it?

It’s the world God loves;
His Gift initiated
a long tradition.

Mary – chosen one –
wrapped God’s Gift in human flesh;
God-man, He would be.

Shepherds – sheep-watchers –
were sent to Bethlehem to
see the Lamb of God.

Simeon’s ancient heart
that yearned for Messiah’s birth,
cradled him at last.

Anna, the aged,
declared to everyone there
the child’s destiny.

Magi traveled far,
as did the star, both guided
by a higher pow’r.

Herod – king of fools –
feigning a worship wish, was
thwarted by the Wise.

Joseph – husband true –
but father not – warned to flee,
whisked the babe away.

Mary stored it all
away in her heart against
hard times sure to come.

The child grew up with
no beauty the world could see;
a Gift rejected.

What is the meaning?
Christmas is all about us
God’s wish to save us.

The kids love the gifts.
A gift defines the season.
Do you love the gift?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Haiku for Truth

       by Jim Rapp

A lie seeks instant
satisfaction – In patience,
Truth waits its reward.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Onward Christian Enablers

       by Jim Rapp

The Devil is a liar
and the father of lies.
He was so named by One
who said of Himself,
“I am the Truth.”

It is no mystery then
that lies exist;
there is one who
fathers them.
The mystery is
that he finds,
in those who claim
to serve the Truth,
willing carriers
of the lies he births.


Able to know the truth –
and by it be set free.
Willing to remain enslaved,
bond servants
of the father of lies.

They come;
in Christ’s name,
conveying Satan’s lies,
a mighty army of enablers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Man With The Lantern

I’ve always felt a little sorry for Diogenes. Even in his own time he must have been considered a little odd, strolling around with a fully lit lamp in broad daylight, searching, he said, for an honest man. But the media of his day picked up on his story and he is now a source of amusement for the ages. But perhaps he should be a source of instruction for the ages, reminding us of how difficult it is to find truth, even in the full light of day. Even in “Christian America.”

Given mankind’s nature it is not surprising that he lies. Truth, as we’ve recently been reminded, is often inconvenient to say the least. It can tarnish or destroy a reputation (or confirm that a bad reputation is well deserved). It can jeopardize the safety of a mission. It can sink the hopes of a political candidate. It can reduce a profit margin. It can destroy a relationship. It is seldom as “interesting” as is un-truth. In court it can doom either side to failure.

In short, there aren’t many good reasons to tell the truth. That is why lawyers, whose clients are sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, artfully lead them in court, to tell a part-of-the-truth, something that sounds like the truth, or nothing close to the truth instead. That is why fact-checking organizations like or find that only a tiny fraction of the claims they are asked to verify are actually true. Another tiny percent contain a little truth, but well over 80% of them are totally false.

A few organizations (particularly businesses) have determined that honesty gains them a loyal clientele but they must compete with many others who make the same claim while consistently mis-representing their product or service. Some, rather than risking an all-out lie, build their advertizing around themes wholly irrelevant to the goods or service they provide.

So light your lanterns, folks, and join the Diogenes parade. Even in “Christian America” you must examine every assertion under a strong light to avoid being taken in by charlatans.

The only people I know who have a strong motive for telling the truth are those who profess to be followers of the one who declared, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life.” It would be inconsistent, to say the least, for followers of Jesus Christ to be liars, or even to be carriers of lies. They have presumably become convinced that the morality insisted upon in the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Epistles in the New Testament, and other teachings attributed to Jesus and his apostles would indeed produce a better world. They are presumably committed to that morality both in that which they do and that which they approve. No one should need a lantern to examine their assertions of truth. Their yes should be yes and their no should be no.

I don’t want to imply that only Christians are truth-tellers. There are non-Christians whose commitment to truth is greater than that of some professing Christians. We should be thankful for them.

It is perhaps the greatest irritation (and sadness) I experience that I must hold a lantern to an e-mail sent to me by a fellow believer. Why did that believer not hold their own lantern to it to determine if it was worthy of being sent on under their Christ-linked name? Is it a laziness or a disregard for the Truth that allows them to overlook the outrageousness of the claims they are passing on without at least attempting to verify them?

It is a sadness to me when I hear those who profess to follow the Truth repeating, over and over, lies that have been refuted by reputable sources long ago? I know there are differences of opinion on important issues and it isn’t always easy to determine where truth lies. But until we are pretty certain where it lies and are able to express our reasons for believing a claim we should restrain our urge to pass on the information.

I’m embarrassed when fellow believers resort to half-truths in support of causes that, if worthy, deserve to be defended with the full force of truth. It takes time and work to ferret out facts and establish truth. Those unwilling to do the work of Christian “craftsmanship” should not be pedaling their wares.

Too many Christians have lost (or never been taught) a respect for the truth and thus have adopted the practices of the culture and the courtroom. Truth is too inconvenient to serve as their standard; it costs too much to tell the truth.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Zeal of a Recent Convert

          by Jim Rapp

I look with scorn upon
my brother’s cluttered desk,
wondering how anyone,
so encumbered, could rest
with reparations still undone.

My desk has been clean
for twenty minutes now.
After it had not been seen
for months, beneath a stow
of “treasures”, now it’s clean.

All desks should be as mine –
as mine now looks, should they.
And I shall seek a law – in time –
to charge offenders, who leave lay
a mess upon their desk, a hefty fine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh, For the Good Old Days! John Warner Remembered

Time was when your home mortgage was negotiated with a local banker or one of his long-time employees. The bank in my childhood town was the John Warner Bank, and John Warner III was likely to be the person with whom you discussed a loan. The money for the loan came out of the big vault with the gleaming brushed steel doors. The money had accumulated in the vault in bundles, mostly of ones, fives, tens, and twenties, because you, and scores of other people like you, had put your savings, and any other cash you didn’t immediately need, in the care of the banker who promised to pay you interest for the privilege of using it to lend to customers just like you. When the loan was approved you got the necessary cash which you paid to local carpenters and businesses who supplied the materials and labor for your home. They, in turn, deposited a portion of the cash they received from you in their bank accounts where it started its rounds again, and you began the ten, twenty, or thirty-year process of paying the bank the money you had borrowed plus a certain level of interest. That interest provided the banker and his employees with their living.

Only in very small, conservative, communities was the process that simple, at least within the last century. But that generally describes, I believe, the basic principal upon which the home mortgage system worked, or was expected to work, for generations.

Now, however, things have changed. The mortgage transaction I am currently concluding involves no local participants except an appraiser, who visited the house, and a title company that will administer the signing of documents. Instead I’ve talked, via phone and e-mail, to individuals and companies in So. Dakota, Texas and Illinois, and been aware of the interests of agencies in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. The mortgage is formally concluded with a well-known “bank” of national stature but the actual process of “getting the loan” has involved several sub-contractors of that “bank” who handle all the data collection and forms processing. I’ve not seen, face-to-face, and probably never will, anyone associated with the “bank” who is giving me the loan. And I’ll not see a single dollar bill during the whole process.

I am made to understand, in the fine print, that my loan can be sold at any time to another entity or groups of entities, meaning that, an hour after the papers are signed, I may no longer be obligated to the “bank” with whom I concluded the mortgage but with some other “entity” anywhere on the planet.

A really curious aspect of our modern financial system is that my loan may be split up into segments of varying value, bundled with segments of similar value from other mortgages, and sold to speculators as – if I’ve got it right – derivatives. For example, the first three years of my mortgage (in which the chance of default on my part is slim) would be bundled with the first three years of other loans of similar risk and sold to speculators at a relatively high cost. Likewise the last three years of my mortgage (in which the chance of default would be significantly greater) is bundled with other mortgages of similar risk and sold at very low prices to speculators willing to take a chance that few of us in their “bundle” will actually default.

Is that confusing? (One might ask if it is an accurate picture of reality, and I confess that I’m no expert on the subject, but I think I’ve described the essence of our mortgage system today.)

I’ve lived long enough to have dealt with both systems described here. The old system where I sat across from the banker, or, if not John Warner himself, at least Mr. Kratz, his agent, was an uncomfortable one. Often you were made to feel as if you were somehow delinquent if you needed to ask for a loan for any purpose. Why hadn’t you saved the money in advance? The banker seemed to feel that every dollar in that vault was his, or at the least, his responsibility, and he wanted you to know that, even if the “board of trustees” approved a loan to you, it was a close call. You would be informed in a week to ten days whether you qualified, perhaps a month if the “board” happened to have had its monthly meeting only the day before you applied.

Now, no one makes me feel inadequate because I want a loan. (I may make myself feel that way but there is no one to blame for that but me.) Indeed, I’m inundated with solicitations for my credit. Approval has already been taken care of – someone presumed I wouldn’t mind if they surveyed my vital statistics and credit reports.

It is convenient I must confess. And for some it must be comforting to know that the credit (no money ever passes from hand to hand) is extended by no one, apparently; no one who could show up at their door to demand repayment if they fall into arrears on the payments. What Chinese investor is going to fly to American, look up your address, and demand payment of the one tenth part of your monthly mortgage payment that belongs to him?

Well, I hate to burst the bubble, but they do have their agents, and when one of them shows up to post the foreclosure sign in the yard one may begin to long for the days when John Warner – or his agent – wrote out the agreement and brought out the cash from the shining vault.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Waiting For The Fairy Godmother

                    by Jim Rapp

Three wishes, the good fairy offers for free,
and the bumbling beggar, choosing stupidly,
cancels all the good, in one and two, achieved,
by fumbling three, outstandingly.

Beggars, it appears, there will always be,
whom fairies, it seems, are created to tease;
tempting the poor, lazy creatures in their belief
that fortune’s a trick you can pull from your sleeve.

Well, maybe it is a “trick up one's sleeve;”
but those who achieve it have come to believe
the good fairy’s three wishes are, if you please,
three chances for beggars to roll up their sleeves.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting the Drift

I Get The Drift
    by Jim Rapp

Why snow?
Oh, I know –
or think I know –
what makes it snow;
the things the weatherman
explains about jet streams and
cold fronts sweeping up to slam
the Middle West and cause a traffic jam.
But what I want to know is why God thought of snow
instead of bricks, or cats and dogs, or other things to throw.
But on a day like this, when every branch and twig is set aglow
in lacy white, and every vista fills my heart with awe, I needn’t ask. I know.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hard of Hearing

                by Jim Rapp

I never heard a towel speak before,
or if I did, I wasn’t paying attention.
But today the towel spoke to me
and, again, I wasn’t paying attention.

What it said I’ll never know;
it came and went so quickly,
but it clearly spoke in
female tones, though softly.

I wonder what else speaks
and I pay no attention –
It is lack of faith, I fear,
that dulls my aging ears.

Monday, December 5, 2011

North Crossing

                   by Jim Rapp

North Crossing was a battle royal,
mostly fought by those who wished
to save a homestead that had been
in the family for generations,
or a treasured bungalow
nurtured through a long marriage,
bearing marks of family living;
lines drawn on closet doors
to show the progress of a clan.

Some fought to save the habitat
of this or that, some bird
or fish, exotic weed, a frog,
a butterfly or centipede.
Some merely thought it
unnecessary to improve the speed
of getting there from here.

North Crossing is a fait accompli now
and all the arguments are laid to rest.
A thousand cars a day
give testimony to success.

But the earth still bleeds –
who thought to ask the earth?
Was it invited to attend the hearings?
Did it have a vote?
Who spoke for the earth?

In winter, driving east,
through the cut in the ridge
topped by Abbe Hill Drive,
ice streams down the limestone wall
to the left, evidence of arteries
severed when the hill was blown away,
cut in two by drills
and dynamitic blasts.

And to the right
a barren wall remembers;
a thirsty hillside bears no more
its ancient waters
to the shrunken streams beyond.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fumbling for the Light

                     by Jim Rapp

And God called the light “Day”
and the darkness He call “Night”.
Both He filled with Truth
and they were good.

And adam cherished the Day,
and trusted the Night, living
infolded in the Truth,
and it was good . . . until

adam discovered that Night
could hide a darkness
that was not Truth . . .
. . . still there was Day . . . until

adam blended Day with Night,
confusing light and dark . . . until
untruth now hides as readily
in the Day as in the Night,

until . . .

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oakwood Hills

              by Jim Rapp

The machines are at it again,
stripping the land, striping
the terrain with unpaved paths
that will lie unfinished under
the snow ‘til Spring.

A “university”, a dentist’s office,
a residence, a hotel, a shopping mall,
a restaurant, will bear the name
once given to a row of hills
that bore a crop of oaks.

The trucks and graders,
cranes and backhoes will
stand silent vigil through
the months of cold assuring
that the oaks will not return.
Within a year neat lawns,
sinuous roads and curbs
will weave among the structures,
each identified by icons
honoring the banished oaks.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here Lies John Willard

              No Place to Hide
                    by Jim Rapp

John Willard, who moved to a wood,
on the farthest edge of the world,
on a high imposing cliff,
to escape, if he could,
the political garbage that swirled,
was betrayed by the weakness of if.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Saga of Huguette Clark Continues

Huguette Gets the Last Word(s)
     The Win is in the Will-Os
                 by Jim Rapp

The saga of Huguette isn’t done yet,
and won’t be soon, you can bet,
since the lawyers were able to get
another will they can vet.

We’re up to two now, both legal;
one giving it all to her “friends” ,
the other, the family finagled,
and hopes it holds to the end.

Of a billion, nearly a half –
mere money to dear Huguette –
but a mint, if I know my math,
to those who are waiting for it.

Some may live to see it,
others to see it go “poof”;
Huguette, though, is having a fit,
enjoying her double-willed spoof.