12.15.17
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

ABBY CAPLIN

I Said Please Instead Of Open The Fuck Up!

When I open the back door I have no idea what the neighbors are doing at home.
Whether they’re mopping their kitchen floors
or stuffing contraband into bins in garages
or flying to Belize after paying off the mayor.
They gun backfiring BMWs
then peel out.
Some of them call their girlfriends
hoping they’ll show at the airport
to grant them one wish:
To be caught, to be seen,
to be Somebody.

But, it rarely happens that way.
It’s like when I convinced myself the neighbor’s old pine tree
was about to topple onto my house, and I knocked on his door
and said Please instead of Open the fuck up!
Turns out it was a rental anyway,
and two kids glared at me through the torn curtains,
the owner making local headlines for cheating his sweatshop employees
then filing for bankruptcy.
Oh, you get the point, four months in jail, a place
on the board of directors,
a new BMW that doesn’t backfire.
I’m not sure what I mean to say except that the tree
still stands ten years later, those kids replaced by other kids,
and the landlord and his wife are standing ahead of me
in line at Lucky buying cigarettes and bags of Doritos.
Makes me want to buy every dog at the pound
to prowl the backyard fence, growl over the sobs
of the pine tree, its crusted arms bejeweled in beetles.
It’s always that confusing and always that clear.
We forget that we can’t believe the bad guys have such nerve
so a tweeting braggart becomes high TV ratings
and maybe the world is not so bad after all.
But those kids, I can’t ever forget.
There they are in high school, in ROTC khakis,
the resident in the White House peddling their lives to the highest bidder.

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Abby Caplin is an award recipient of San Francisco Poets Eleven 2016. Her poem “Still Arguing with Old Synagogue” was a finalist for the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award. She is a physician and practices Mind-Body medicine in San Francisco, California.

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 illustration:  anna_croc01

illustration: anna_croc01