Ed Shacklee: The Pigeon-Spattered Ozymandian

Common as one's faults, and as ignored, the Ozymandian
will often loom unnoticed above couples on postprandian
strolls around the park. Ranging from the Andean

mountains to the Alps, from downtown Doha to Manhattan,
they sport unwieldy surnames like Fitzmouldiwarp-Mountbatten,
and pose aloofly as the lady off the Isle of Staten

who, facing loveless middle age, impregnable and stiff,
plays deaf to foreign sounding words like’ huddled,’ ‘but’ and ‘if’,
her frozen stare come hither as a sheer Himalayan cliff.

Teetering toward their dotage, Ozymandians stay numbly
unaware their grand facades, once oohed and aahed, grow crumbly,
the accolades still licking at their boots effaced or mumbly,

till – tumbled, dry, and dusty as a beggar with a cup –
they glare impending ruin at that moon-faced Shelley pup,
and wish with all their hearts they could look down, but must look up.