Though I don’t usually write occasional poems, with the Inauguration and (supposedly) a new era just ahead of us, I wanted to write one which references the past, and celebrates the day. If you don’t agree with me about anything I say, then that is your right, too. It’s not a perfect poem by a long shot, but I believe it expresses the thoughts in my mind today accurately, and sometimes that’s the most one can hope for. Have a good day.
Martin Luther King Day, 2017 "You know he cheated on his wife," My neighbor says. "Had affairs, and everything." This, I think, is meant to indicate That his public faith with all of us Wasn't perfect either, Though even his wife Revered his public stance. And what man, anyway, Or maybe even what woman-- Given an equal chance to do wrong-- Would respect the office And the private world As if they were the same? Said John and Oko Lennon, "Woman is the nigger of the world," And said La Rochefoucauld, "It pertains to great men to have great faults." Is it all the outward dance of men Determined only to do one good at a time, To have a whipping boy in the shadows In the form of a woman? Of is it just that The Public itself Cannot grasp how a person, Man or woman, Needs to fight, with some room reserved For error, a margin in which to be forgiven? Now we are at the beginning of what pretends, At least, To be a new beginning, Full of hope for those who've felt neglected While civil rights made its great footsteps forward. But why isn't it full of hope For everyone at the same time, As civil rights has always purported to be? And the figurehead at the top: A man full of error, Which if error is meant to reassure us Should surely do us proud. His spite of John Lewis, His rejection of memorials for King, How can these be worked in with "Of the people, by the people, for the people"? Who're people? I am people, you are people, he and she are people. And we one and all Must learn to contain Our furies at each other Lest the furies that our leaders Aim at each other-- Playing on the public stage as if they were Coriolanus, Caesar, or Henry V, Only with words far less impressive-- Lest their Furies become those of the Greeks, And shred us all to pieces, Public and private. The new figurehead has promised To put us in the driver's seat, Though little did we think That it meant we have to drive the venerable jalopy Without capsizing it, since he has abdicated Acting responsibly, drinking in the back seat And fondling those public figures who would always Be fondled, whoever has the lead role. Be brave! my fellows, And cast doubt from your minds, For though it is not now our kingship, We have had a king fight nobly and well, We have had a model of a man Whereby to set the measure of all others. Look forward, hope! For what we see With disbelieving, jaded eyes Is not always the true path Of our fates. It is our struggle now As it was King's, and we for this Remember him this day. ©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/16/17
Finis, for today anyway.