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Thursday, December 10, 2009


by Jean Liebert

     When I joined the teachers in 48,
The thought of sickness gave me the shakes.
     What would I do if the polio bug
Came to our house to give us a hug?

     Health insurance was available to all,
So I signed up with a sigh of relief.
     No more lying awake at night
With the fear of pending grief.

     We no sooner got it “just right,”
When everything began to crumble.
     First the economy failed us
And we all began to grumble.

     Jobs began to vanish overseas
And Wall Street came tumbling down.
     Just like Humpty Dumpty
It remains in pieces all around.

     To make it worse, pensions vanished,
And health insurance bit the dust.
     We now wait at the bottom
Forlorn and covered with rust.

     Today the light is shining on Congress.
Does it have the guts to move ahead?
     Or will it pass a health insurance bill,
That’s toothless and might as well be dead?

Jean Thurston Liebert, age 91, lives in Corvallis, Oregon. She writes poetry, short stories and novellas. Her published work is included in Apricot Memories, a non-fiction history of the apricot industry in California, Linn Benton Community College’s Collections and the Oregon Writers Colony anthology, Take a Bite of Literature. She recently completed a memoir, Another World.