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Monday, November 02, 2020


by Jan Gross

2020 Hindsight by Rob Rogers at The Nib.

Buyers beware! 

We could lose our bid on the sale  
Citizens no more, but customers   
Truth no longer told, but sold
Off to the inside traitors  
Bought out by big business  
Walled in by Wall Street  
Gutted by greed  
Dealt out of the deal  
His bottom line rules mighty  
Regulations, taxes damned   
Hail to the profit margin!  
Protect the family brand!   
Fake the facts!   
Hype the hoax!  
Let hackers and trolls   
Surf coast to coast  
Masses trumpet triumph  
Chanting hate inspires  
Winners one and none  
Where QAnon conspires  
Monuments stage his glory  
A country’s reality show  
A bible brandished on high  
God’s Truth trampled below  
Heroes stripped of honor  
Fawners scale the ranks   
On all sides fine people  
Hateful words just pranks   
Covid breathes calamity  
Choked by one man’s vanity  
Old age best begone!  
Make way for the strong!  
Refuse to don your face masks  
Cures are easily taken  
His own comeback is clear proof  
Of experts long mistaken  
He’s fair as honest Abe was  
Not a racist bone in sight   
With insults heaped on icons   
He helps boost his loser’s plight  
Dissenters face dismissal   
Detractors face defeat  
The bar of justice lowers  
Tips the balance for deceit  
Clear the way for order!  
Twist the arm of law!  
Protests pave the future  
Marchers won’t withdraw   
Black and white, or red and blue  
Dividing lines he always drew  
Will this storm bring rainbows 
With hope to start anew?   
Battle lines are hardened  
The bitter end draws near  
Time to line up    
Time to fill in  
Ballots to mail or not   
Votes to cast once or twice  
Votes to buy   
To buy us time  
Time to keep us   
Here long enough  
To see   
… to see the turning of the tide   
        … for the tide has got to turn.  

Author’s Note: This poem echoes James Baldwin’s plea to settle for what a vote can get you… maybe not a job, or a loan, or a major reform, but “it may keep [us] here long enough … to see, and use, the turning of the tide—for the tide has got to turn.”  (Written prior to the 1980 presidential election in “Notes on the House of Bondage” and quoted in Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.)   

Jan Gross is waiting for the tide to turn. She is Professor emerita at Grinnell College, and is co-authoring a collaborative poetic memoir about interracial friendship, Black & White and In-Between