Poem #15 Sulking World Leader

posted November 21, 2018

The world leader is sulking in his Parisian hotel room
While his colleagues wade in the rain
Remembering Europe once set the stage
For the deadliest combat in history.

The miracle of peace
Passed down like a delicate young bird
Cupped in the hands, from one elder statesman or -woman to the next
Cannot be trusted to our guy this time.
The colleagues yammer and stammer in disbelief and impotence and
Pass the bird back and forth hoping to bide some time.

At the holiday table,
I long to ask my uncle about patriotism.
How can this genteel, honorable man
Excuse the evidence?
I grew up believing that at the core of the Red
Was a beating heart.
I didn’t agree with smaller government
Or up-by-the-bootstraps economics
Or limitations on a woman’s right to choose
Or guns

But I admired the loyalty to country
Even as I criticized the same,
And held it as fundamental, the right to criticize.
Still, I believed the tears that fell
For our fallen soldiers,
For the supreme sacrifice the Greatest Generation made
And was, myself, grateful.
I believed they believed in the sanctity of life
Even as they voted to hang, inject, electrocute the prisoners
Swept off the streets in a post-slavery holocaust.

Today, it’s hard not to see through the genteel veneer
To the unretractable.
This is about money and power
This is about money and power
This is about money and power
Let’s not pretend it’s not anymore.

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