06.30.17
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

BOB HICOK

American history

                   "I will build a great, great wall
                   on our southern border, and I will make Mexico
                   pay for that wall."    --Donald Trump

 

 

I'll build an amazing tunnel. Dug by hand,
if necessary. Dug by a million dudes
named Doug, for fun. The sides
supported by a billion timbers
covered in gold. I'll build
the most spirally spiral staircase
through the tunnel of the air. Anyone
can walk there without toll or fare.
For the old, helicopters. For the young,
helicopters: I love whirligigs
and equality. My wife's maternal grandfather
came here from Mexico, met and married
Mary Stina, who had Stina Marie,
who met and married Stuart and then
had Eve, who met me and made me happy
just by existing in Ann Arbor, city of many
lovely trees. Nothing could be more American
than an open door, but Canada
will soon be Billboard's #1 democracy
if we forget what made us great. O Canada,
I want to hold hands
with your immigration policy.
Do you know what Canadians
call the people we call aliens? New Canadians.
Someone went to semantic simplicity school
and got an A. As far as I'm concerned,
everyone's welcome. We have
this pullout sofa that sleeps three
hundred thousand, give or take. Then there's
the spare room, which has a spare room
of its own, which likewise
has a spare room and so on
forever, according to the theory
that the universe is infinite
but bounded, much as the heart's
this little nothing fist of muscle
that refuses to die as a metaphor
for love. "Give us your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"
is from an otherwise forgotten sonnet
by Emma Lazarus. The poem was written
to raise money for the Statue of Liberty,
or Mother of Exiles, as Lazarus saw her.
If you go, the poem's on a plaque.
If you don't go, the poem's still on a plaque.
Either way, you have to be somewhere
until you're nowhere, just like everybody else.
I'm flattered how many someones
want their somewhere to be here.

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Bob  Hicok is the author many books of poems. Most recently, Sex & Love &, and Elegy Owed. He is the recipient of a ton of awards including Finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award for Elegy Owed. He is Professor of Creative Writing/English at Virginia Tech. 

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