The jack-in-the-box dictator dominates,
Green scowl squeezing envy into hate.
Sinners pray to Jesus in the store window.
Draped in gold chains, clutching His scepter,
He laughs at their ruler’s show of temper.
Henchmen wait for new orders from below.
Eternal cities outlive their architecture.
Columns collapse, statuary crumbles,
“Return my youth,” a lame crone mumbles.
Speeches, even sermons, become lectures,
Endless repetitions, what everybody knows.
When the militia gathers, the catacombs
Fill with refuges and would-be deserters.
No murderers here, we are only torturers.
Note: This is one of more than 115 poems after paintings or images, which can be viewed at the blog, Zealotry of Guerin.