Hercules is nervous. He dreams big,
but saves very little.
He is religious, believes in hard work.
In his money temple, marble crumbled,
clients overdosed on wants. Clerks turn
every stone to find errors and mugs.
Hercules couldn’t fight debt collectors.
Living in a tent, he fears screams and sirens.
Skyscrapers made him feel so small.
The bank fell to pieces. Lack of liquidity.
Now rats lounge in the rubble,
but no one brooms the mess.
Yesterday, Hercules collapsed on the street
while running to meet a deadline.
Bystanders declared bankruptcy.
About the Poem
The poem is a response to the bank collapse in the US and Europe. It appears that we need a Herculean effort to survive ongoing inflation and economic struggle. The 2023 bank collapse reminded me of a similar sequence of events in former Yugoslavia, where I was born and raised. Amid the breakup of the country, two banks backed by Serbian government lured people into depositing money under extremely favorable conditions. However, these banks collapsed and left people with empty pockets. Politicians were not held accountable.
About the Author
Lena is a human rights lawyer and poet born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia (former Yugoslavia). She lives in Washington D.C. since 2017. Her poems and prose poems appeared in literary magazines in Southeast Europe, such as Enklava, Strane, Koraci, and Sovremeni dijalozi, as well as in the US magazine IHRAF Publishes. Lena’s first poetry book is forthcoming with PPM Enklava publisher (Serbia). Some of the themes that occupy her writing are social justice, utopia, consumerism, migration, and identity.