Agent Coverage Takes Aim


He’s got stock reports at his fingertips
up-to-date info on traffic jams
and can name every vintage Haute Médoc.
Just ask him for the year-end stats
for hockey or soccer, how many
hat tricks scored or penalties blocked.
For that virgin seaside spot, the latest joke or
which airlines don’t charge to check your bags,
You can count on him all right, he’s a rock –
He’s your trusty insurance broker.

D-day has arrived. Agent Coverage swoops in,
a profusion of policies fanned out before us
and there we sit, a cringing, red-faced fringe.
He exposes our failings in a single breath:
Christonacrutch we’re living on the edge
no Coverage against theft flood fire
injury with or without hospitalization
and all that till long beyond death.
Warm insistence creeps into the jargon
liability insolvency mortality – what a bargain.

Deal. It’s a deal. Clauses initialed,
your sweetheart and you, now it’s time to hit the booze.
But in a far-off recess of your brain
leaks, majestic and proud, the scrap-heap of the living
junk against which we’re destined to lose.
for don’t they mock you, the most devious
of your demons, insidiously harping on
about spleen, cancer, not the real one but the lard-pit
you call home? Is there a policy that insures you against
treachery, collusion, the callous exploitation of your soul
d’you think you’re indemnified against malice and disillusion?
Coverage has expunged the dreck and goo from your existence
now you’re the slave of non-existent certainties
in the capital clinch of risk profile and old age.
A contract killer would do the trick: let friend agony
have his way, creeping behind the hard knocks
of life-loathing and the living dead. Let your blood engage
with the cabal of percentages and loans.
All right. Go for it, taunt death with death.
Be grandly gutted. Be the noblest bag of bones.