12.22.17
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

JOSH LEFKOWITZ

Plague

“Come and see the blood in the streets.”

      -Neruda

 

I always felt bad for Pharoah’s first born.
He didn’t do anything wrong.

I’d look at my brother, the eldest among us,
and worry. What kind of God
can only change minds via grief?

But then, stubborn Pharaoh!
Surely his good friends choked on bloody water,
swatted frogs aside.

Even then,
everything stayed the same.

Frogs are like bullets, you know:
Six is quite different from hundreds.

Which plague are we at right now, do you think?
Six? Many are boiling with fury, that’s true.
Maybe nine, though. Tough to see a way forward.

What needs to finally happen
to change rigid minds of men in power?

Which Congressman’s daughter?

Which Senator’s son?

When will the worst day finally come
so the rest of us can shop or pray
or drop off our kids at their school in peace?

I have to believe it: a terrible death
and then freedom is coming,
and I am exhausted, and waiting.

My thoughts and prayers are towards that awful day.

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Josh Lefkowitz received an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, was a finalist for the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, and won First Prize in the 2016 Singapore Poetry Contest. His poems have been published at The Awl, Electric Literature, Barrelhouse, The Huffington Post, and many other places. He has also recorded pieces for NPR's All Things Considered and BBC's Americana.

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 illustration:  anna_croc01

illustration: anna_croc01