They’re handing it out—whatever it is.
And we’re taking it—exile, house arrest,
a wall, mass deportations, the molded,
melded, stretched and excised truth.
I hear some are taking it and buying the hat.
We might as well paint the country alizarin.
Other names for alizarin are Mordant Red
and Turkey Red. We should certainly paint
the country alizarin. Eventually,
we will want to get back to forming our
days with our hands. We will be unable
to move our fingers. Then we will want
to hear the new lies, the small stories
of the worms’ triumph. It will be too late.
I tell myself, “don’t borrow trouble. We
still have months.” I tell myself “you
can move. A month is an augenblick,”
I tell myself “it can’t be that bad.”
I say “not here, it can’t happen here.” I wonder
where to live next. Taut faces surround me.
In every group, a mother who says,“hush,”
a mother who says “everything is fine.”
Around me, children are blown to mush.
I am a mother. Don’t we say dumb stuff?
Author’s gloss: augenblick—the blink of an eye
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives and write in the Ozarks. She is the author of two books and three chapbooks, most recently Persephone on the Metro. See her work in Concis, Rat’s Ass Review, Mom Egg Review, and the Kentucky Review.