he waited patiently at the open door of the soup kitchen amid crunching brown leaves for the twelve o’clock whistle from the factory nearby to signal that guests could start coming in for a hot meal. his hands trembled as he balanced himself on his wooden cane. miles away, satisfied stomachs in pin-striped suits with enameled pins of patriotism and words as smooth as their silk ties argued over too much money being spent on entitlements. These at stake were the very programs that he had paid into his whole life of hard work, paying bills, taxes and belief in setting aside for his future. now, people whose entitlements are never in jeopardy are making and managing laws that further cripple others, but there is noticeably never sacrifice to their own elevated status for the benefit of those who elect them. as i fill his plastic bowl with chicken noodle soup, i can’t help but wonder with what kind of conscience do others carry – those who cut funding, sustenance, jobs and life for workers, veterans, mothers and children, while raising their own salaries, toasting with a French Petrus Merlot and attempting to sleep soundly night after night? what ring of inferno, real or self-imagined, will Dante and Virgil discover for those whose power has been corrupted absolutely?