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We still have not learned
all the lessons that Melville taught:
the Union is not as united
as we once thought,
how easy it can be to drop prejudices
when we get to know
and love the pagan stranger,
the risks of empire building,
and how bowing to a self-absorbed
and vindictive leader puts us all in danger.
If Melville were writing today
the crew would grow from thirty
to fifty, as many as the states
that could sink into the abyss
if we leave this election to the fates.
We may be on the brink.
Wilda Morris has a doctorate in political science from American University in Washington, D.C., but instead of becoming a political scientist, she ended up as a poet. Her blog provides a monthly contest for other poets.