marie never saw the sea

i’m talking antionette
the epitomy of outrageous excess
never said “let them eat cake”
and never saw the sea

born in austria
sent to versailles when but fourteen
and eventually the guillotine
never having witnessed waves
lapping the shore
or crashing over boulders
never felt sand on her feet
or heard the sweet refrains all that water can sing

she had a lot of bling
unlike me
who wouldn’t wear it anyway
but she never saw the sea
unlike me
who has bathed in the mediterranean
surrounded by hunks of eurotrash
snorkeled in the south pacific
with sea turtles gliding gracefully beneath
and skinny-dipped in the north atlantic
under the summer moon

rich is relative

i’ve read
if you live in a household
with combined income of over ninety thousand per annum
you’re among those wealthier
than ninety-nine-point-ninety-nine percent
of all the people who ever lived

we just eke into that category
and compared with many we know
and more we see
we don’t feel rich at all
but we are oh so wealthy in experience

even though marie had a lot more money
and hugely larger homes
she never saw the sea

oh i’m sure she ate quite well
but doubtful she experienced the wild variety
and supreme culinary artistry of meals in manhattan
available to anyone with a credit card
(or, in some cases, a mortgage)
not to mention the dinners we make
and enjoy together
with fresh produce
and exotic ingredients
she never had the chance to taste

we jet around the world
to experience vistas
marie could not have dreamed
and even frequent-flyer coach
is probably at least as comfortable
as her horse-drawn kind

we sleep on eight-hundred-thread-count sheets
(bought on sale at macys)
which i have no doubt are every bit as luxurious
as those she crawled between

and we control our personal climate
so that we’re seldom too cold
(could that be said of versailles?)
or too hot
(the petite trianon in july)

we don’t have staff
tending to our every need
but technology
(at least when it works)
can take care of lots of mundane tasks
and deliver entertainments to our living room
such as symphonies and story-telling artistry
easily equaling
probably outshining
anything marie could hope to see

someday soon
we’ll be strolling beaches in new zealand
and no doubt be overwhelmed
by nature’s glory
one more moment to be grateful
for the wealth of our experience
and reminded
marie never saw the sea

posted by admin on February 4, 2007, at 1:00 am | filed under poetry | no comments »

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