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POEM: the god of abstraction

tree on one corner

on the other a shrine

they hedged their bets

stood astride the line

they sealed their letters to the holy ghost

and slipped them in the midnight post

afraid of what their friends would say

if they mailed them in the light of day

each one believed in the abstract

a realm free of the force of fact

but when that ghost began to ride

they laced their cakes with cyanide

better to be crazy amid false gods

than run the table and play the odds


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