The One Percent Mansion

Will HodgkinsonOctober 30, 2016Discovery and ProgressPoetry
Photograph by Anya Dunaif

The golden bars of sunlight fall
over the green velvet lawns and hit
the windows of the mansion,
turning them into winking jewels.

In the bedroom, the Master awakes.
He pulls back his silk sheets and calls
the valet, who helps him out
of his brocade robe.

He showers and shaves in the bathroom
with its gleaming Italian marble and gilt
mirrors. The servant dresses him in an
immaculate business suit.

Breakfast laid out for him
on a tray, like a sacrificial offering.
The Master dismisses his employee
with a wave of a manicured hand.

He forks his food slowly into his mouth,
appraising each bite of the gourmet meal.
The Master sets the tray down and sweeps
out of the room, moving down wide corridors
lined with canvases, each one costing more
than a house.

The Master pauses at the top of the grand
staircase and looks down, a contented smile
on his face. The foyer below is cavernous.
An immense chandelier dangles above
the waxed parquet floor like a
miniature crystal palace.

The air hangs heavy with expensive scent.
The Master glides down the steps with an
easy arrogant gait. Two uniformed flunkies
hold open the front doors.

He walks down the broad steps and moves
with an egotist’s purpose toward
his limousine. The door is opened for him
by a liveried chauffeur.

He climbs into his cocoon
of soft leather and polished wood.

Far from this idyll of wealth, the
Master’s workers toil in misery and
squalor. Crushed and oppressed,
dreaming of one day being the one
in charge; dreaming of one day
owning a place like their employer’s.

But it will never happen,
not with the Master at the top.

Will Hodgkinson is 16 and in the 10th grade at Waldorf High School in Massachusetts. His poetry has been published in Off the Coast, Maine’s international poetry journal, Highlights magazine, and the Arlington Advocate. His interview with Noam Chomsky was published recently in the University of Massachusetts Breakwater Review. His interests include politics and writing.