Weekly poem on Trump Presidency
How I Know We Are Doomed
Terrible things happen and we read about them,
and then we do the next thing that changes nothing.
The people at this AAU basketball tournament
cheering their children on don’t think they can do
anything. They don’t think anything. They don’t think
anything right now while the children play this game.
Or the next one. Most are just thinking BIG D, BIG D
and yelling it and yelling BOX OUT as if it were
the end of the world if the children didn’t box out.
The boys do touch each other for good luck.
Their hands speak the language of hope to each other.
You will make the next one is what that tiny slap says.
Everyone in the gym believes it’s true. When my son
shoots, hell, I uncross my legs and arms and fingers.
Damn if I’m not all in. Not one of us goes home
and does enough to fix anything. No one can stop
Big Baby. Big Baby is still going to do what Big Baby
is going to do. I am going to go home and grade papers
and read books and tomorrow morning I will make
the steel cut oats, the coffee. I will resist the alarm.
I will put the trash out on trash day. Check my
calendar’s list of small things I need to do, and I will
do them. And go to bed. And get up. And do small things
over and over and they will never be big enough things.
I can’t do a big enough thing. I make a small path
from my house to a basketball tournament, then back
home where I light fires and sit with my dog. I answer emails
and for almost a year I read every article about Big Baby
and yell as loud and as well-composed posts as I can post.
Now, most of the time I’m back to poems, and dinner.
I drive around and wonder if anyone in another car
has a good enough idea to change anything about
Big Baby or even the planet in its slow-mo crock-pot.
Sometimes I pray. Want to know what else? That first day?
I stayed home and left my students with a substitute
who got mad at them when they cried. I also did that.
Kerrin McCadden is the author of Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes (New Issues Poetry & Prose), winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize and the Vermont Book Award. She lives and teaches in Montpelier, Vermont.