Bernie Madoff: SO sorry, SO grief-stricken, SO deeply ashamed. Oh yes, and –SO uncooperative with the FBI!

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POEM : BERNIE MADOFF’S DAY IN COURT
(from The New York Times report.)
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It was his day in court
his “Cake and Eat IT”
day in court:
Yes, he was really, really sorry
(–but you clean up the mess!)
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He was “so sorry”,
He was “so ashamed”,
He was “so grief-stricken”
for cheating so many
out of their money…
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…but let’s not go overboard:
Breast-beating would be unseemly;
“sack-cloth & ashes” so ungainly
for a cuff-shooting Bernie,
as elegantly dressed as ever.
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But– what’s this?–
no wedding ring?
See that untanned-band of skin?
where a ring had been?
50 years on the faithful-finger,
his childhood-sweetheart finger
(–the finger right next to the
Give-them-the-Finger finger).
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There he stood,
his day in court,
he out-Ponzi’d Ponzi
but surely still
made Ponzi proud.
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Now he publicly admits his guilt
–his words almost inaudible–
for the very first time,
apologizing to his victims
[–once squeezed by Bernie;
now squeezed onto
the courtroom benches.]
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“A risk of flight”,
ruled the judge
[–“flight” meaning
“to elude the clutches of the law”
rather than heavenly “apotheosis”].
No bail nor bailout, the judge
ordered Bernie cuffed
and sent him off to jail,
there to await sentence.
[100 years? 150 years?…]
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“I knew what I was doing was wrong,
indeed criminal,”
[A nice touch, that,
–adding “indeed criminal”]
“When I began the Ponzi scheme,
I believed it would end shortly
and I would be able
to extricate myself and my clients.”
[before criminality began]
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Ah! Bernie believed
IT WOULD END shortly
IT WOULD END shortly
IT WOULD END shortly
–so he wouldn’t have to buy
any more mansions,
any more yachts,
any more finery,
any more baubles….
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But as luck and cruel fate
(–and, no doubt, circumstances–)
would have it,
Bernie was forced to
carry on buying….
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Finding an exit
“proved difficult,
and ultimately impossible.”
“As the years went by
I realized this day,
and my arrest,
would inevitably come.”
“I have deeply hurt
many, many people.”
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In one respect he was
completely truthful:
“I cannot adequately express
how sorry I am for what I have done.”
[So –he didn’t.]
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His testimony –The Times observed–
was shaped
not only by expressions of regret,
but also by his determination
to shield his wife and family.
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Those who expected
a Contrite Bernie
to be more forthcoming
about the crimes
he was so deeply ashamed of,
left the courtroom
unsatisfied and uncertain —
about where their money had gone
and who may have helped
Bernie Makoff with it;
to help him spend it;
and now to spend it still.
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The hearing made it
all too clear that
Bernie was just too
heart-broken to assist
an enquiring FBI
restore any monies
to his victims,
many of whom seemed
just as heart-broken
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–if not more so.


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