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Friday, September 21, 2018


by Robert West

Image source: —“The Frightening Lesson Hurricane Maria Taught the World About the Politics of Climate Change,” TIME, September 19, 2018.

More than 130 members of the House and Senate sent President Trump a letter demanding he apologize to the people of Puerto Rico for refusing to accept the official death toll for Hurricane Maria. Trump brazenly asserted 3,000 people didn’t die and said Democrats were inflating the official death count to make him look bad. “These comments were grossly inaccurate, callous, embarrassing and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President of the United States,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “We call on you to immediately apologize and set the record straight by publicly acknowledging the official death toll.” —The New York Post, September 19, 2018

They died because you didn’t really care,
    and now a lot of blood is on your hands.
Three thousand souls! . . . But you of course declare
the count a hoax designed to hurt you, car-
ing only for yourself—a billionaire
    who heard their desperate pleas as rude demands.
They died because you really didn’t care,
    however much you try to wash your hands.

Robert West's poems have recently appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Asheville Poetry Review, The Paddock Review, Still: The Journal, and Red Dirt Forum. He lives in Starkville, Mississippi.