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Thursday, October 16, 2014


by George Held

What’s His Name, the Liberian
In Dallas, has died of ebola.

“When will it get me?” That’s what
Our self-absorption wants to know.

We are now in the medieval
Days of the plague updated.

Which will get us first, ebola
Or Islamic State warriors?

That’s what we want to know.
Is it better to die instantly

From a slash across the throat
Or wretchedly after days

Of dehydration from vomiting
And diarrhea?

What happened to Sanctuary
America, the great safe place

With a dependable government
And public-health system?

Where is FDR assuaging
Our fears, TR assailing

The enemy, or swoony Ronnie
Grinning our troubles away?

When have we ever felt so feckless,
So vulnerable, so hopeless

As we witness this waiting game?

George Held, a regular contributor to The New Verse News, has a new book out from Poets Wear Prada, Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems.