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Thursday, September 26, 2019


by Tricia Knoll

Donald Trump with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the UN on Wednesday. Democrats said the transcript of the pair’s call represented a ‘devastating’ betrayal of America. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian, Sept. 25, 2019

for the times they portend,
the times we were called to hold in memory.

My old-maid French teacher weeping silently
when the high school intercom announced
     President Kennedy is dead. The horse
     without a rider and the little boy’s salute.

During a beer strike in British Columbia, the radio
     told us Nixon resigned.

A hush in the Yale Law School dining room
    when TV announced we were bombing Cambodia.

Assassinations of Reverend Martin Luther King,
Robert Kennedy, the slaughter of so many innocents
   in so many places with weapons meant for war

The piece of the Berlin wall in my desk drawer.

Oh, our parents told stories of Pearl Harbor,
D-Day. Yes, a man landed on the moon.
Yes, we elected a President with a darker
skin color than mine.

Others do not come to mind right now.
Add your own.

Whatever happens next, skullduggery and lies
or the light of truth pushing aside the shadows,

the day impeachment opens into T***p’s world
of bigotry, aggrandizement, and hate

I’ll know this as the day I worked out back
yanking invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle

how hard I had to scrub to remove
the dirt from under my fingernails.

Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet who fears the coming disasters of climate crisis as much as she deplores the political nightmare of the Trump era. Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies. Her most recent collection How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Indie Book Award for motivational poetry.