Walking the Hoboken waterfront to hold off
the doldrums lurking behind each lonely day
I search the eyes of my neighbors
frightened, hopeful, distracted.
We can’t continue to feel like victims of each other
a death spiral of empty choices offered
in this zero-sum game of Russian Roulette.
Shots are fired from behind a door as the white
walkers swarm through the hallway.
Having breached the gates, they arrive
enraged ready to chew up all that lies inside.
America has suffered a collective failure of imagination
allowing ourselves to be driven to the abyss
and must move past preventive strategies
into the restorative phase of democracy.
Two years ago, we wondered if we were living through
the equivalent of 1933, but now we know we’re in 1938
and Kristallnacht just happened again.
Our parents and grandparents were the original
Antifa and we celebrate their bravery and sacrifice.
We have allowed pretenders to wrap themselves in the worn
flag of patriotism without a counter narrative of our own.
Racism is our original sin and a reckoning is due.
Let us atone for our transgressions through admission,
action, penance, and maybe salvation.
We have built walls physical and metaphysical
holding us trapped in a state of perpetual stasis
cut off from each other and the rest of the world.
Social media has shamed us into impotence,
keyboard warriors helplessly posting sad and angry
dispatches from our ravenous screens.
We, and let me be clear, we on the Left
need to be less rigid, more agile
than we have ever been before.
One side speaks of paranoid conspiracies
unleashed by tweet from a deranged head of state,
while the other side speaks to itself in codified
language nobody else can, or wants to understand.
Though our past looms awaiting the final spark
to flicker and fade we have to look forward,
to rebuild our infrastructure and collective soul.
God give us the strength to take the mind leap
to live again. Courage happens when we are afraid
yet still carry on. Let us begin again.