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Monday, August 28, 2017


by Diane Elayne Dees

Eat birthday cake in the Arizona desert.
If, however, you’re not invited to the party
like the other guy was, don’t despair:
Arizona still needs you, though it’s as dry
as a page torn from the Constitution.
There is work to be done in the West,
though relentless rain assaults Houston,
and parts of Texas look like a war zone.

You could briefly fly over and have an aide
explain to you what’s going on; it took only
moments to fly clueless over Louisiana.
After that, you’re free to leave what looks
like the end of the world in the hands
of the callous and incompetent.
Heck of a job.

But you like to do things your own way,
to break the rules because you can.

You could ride out the storm at Mar-a-Lago
while Texans sleep on the floors of shelters,
avoid the bunker while they wade through
flooded highways. Or you could gather
the press to remind them that Texas
gave you its electoral votes, and the streets
were mobbed for your inauguration.
And you could assure Texans, as they search
for gas, water, food, their furniture, their pets,
their sanity—that everything will be fine
because there soon will be a wall.

Diane Elayne Dees's poems have been published in many journals and anthologies, including Hurricane Blues: Poems about Katrina and Rita. Diane, who lives in Louisiana, also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that covers women's professional tennis throughout the world.