Two Poems by Bob Brussack

Offshore Roulette 

Our money's good, they said.
Got it right here.
Down deep.
Down deep
In these pockets.
So where's the wheel?
The wheel's our game.
Give 'er a spin.
Bet on the black.
Black to win.
We're all in.
But she comes up red.
Blood red.
Spreading red.
Engulfing red.
Drowning red.
Dead red.


What good I do,
I do willy-nilly
And here and there,
Charity in the second degree,
Except at tax time.
But there are among us--
I know one--
Devil hunters,
Sworn assassins of sorrows,
Career soldiers
In a war against the
Fallenness of the world.
Some of these--most, I expect--
Were drafted to the brigades
By the awful gravity of suffering.
Others--the one I know--
Came to the cause impelled
Not just by heart's imperative,
But by considered judgment.
Reason, for him, required a
Constant, vigilant, inventive charity.
One needn't believe in God
To believe in angels.

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