to be the Pharaoh and after a hard day
of running the affairs of the state
to have to listen to this Moses
who is either delusional or at a minimum out of control
to know that your magicians can turn staves into snakes
and their magic fails to the magic of Moses
to know that there is no force on earth
that can keep Moses from running the table

to have to listen to his threats of
frogs falling from the sky and
twenty-four hours of darkness
and to know this Moses who will not
stop talking and threatening
can back up what he is saying
and to know that Moses has caught you
with the corner of his eye
in your fateful moment of indecision


Mel Bernstein is a 70-year-old retiree from a non-academic background. He has been an invited guest reader at three Southern California community colleges and has published two chapbooks.