Old habits die hard
I’ve been thinking about this poem for several days. I wrote it two years ago, not expecting we would find ourselves in today’s mess. My comments follow.
Bursting dams explode
fueling unhinged tongues
Roiling water floods old landscapes
scarred beyond recognition
The end of this world collides
with the untimely birth
of a new world ruled by
winners of a rigged lottery
How shall we then live
with death-dealing word-bombs
hanging over our heads
seeking to silence the resistance?
I posted this poem in February 2020. That was after Mr. Trump’s loss to President Biden, and after the attack on both houses of Congress by followers of Mr. Trump. I considered myself then, as now, part of the resistance — not part of those who hoped to change the outcome of the 2020 Election.
We’re still living in the aftermath of this attack. We’ve become a country at war with itself. The war is about more than Covid masks and vaccinations, or even who won the 2020 Presidential Election.
It’s about what it means to be a law-abiding citizen of the United States, who gets to decide whether to obey the laws and requirements of citizenship, and how to deal with centuries of unequal justice.
In the end, it’s about perks that come or don’t come with money–gobs, a lot, some, or virtually none. Or what kind of attention your voice gets or does not get. Or what color your skin is, your gender, where and how you live, and whether you’re considered dispensable or not.
I don’t have answers. When I wrote this poem, I wasn’t thinking about the mess we’re in today. However, now as then, it’s still time to take risks on behalf of truth and justice. Like some of you, I was brought up in a family, religious organizations, and workplaces that expected me to sit down and keep my poor white female mouth shut.
Thanks for reading and doing what you can on behalf of truth and justice for All.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 February 2022
“The Resistance” was first published on 6 February 2020
Photo of bursting dam found at pinterest.com