shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Marybeth Rua-Larsen

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Ben Franklin in Paris, 1783

Renown aside, he was a lech, though not
the quid-pro-quo of Harvey Weinstein's kind.
He earned the nickname Cher Papa, a sign
that he endeared himself, that he was smart
enough to blur the line yet keep it taut.
He liked them young and cute, with clever minds
for banter, and as he lured them to his side,
his joie de vivre returned and was his blind spot,
as was his poor wife, Deborah, alone for years.
He'd write to say he'd soon be back, but stayed
abroad, despite her stroke, since she'd refused
inoculation for their son. His fears
for Franky's death by pox came true. Betrayed,
Ben punished with his absence, as great men do.