A long, thought-provoking, free-verse poem about ignoring the warning of distant thunder.
|As my wife and I watched TV,
we heard thunder rolling
in the distance. Soon a warning
of approaching severe storms
bringing dangerous winds and hail
to threaten property and lives
appeared on the TV screen.
My wife and I grew more apprehensive
as the distant thunder grew louder.
For eons distant thunder has warned
of dangerous conditions ahead.
Man ignored this warning at his own risk.
America now is embroiled in a political
storm that threatens to tear apart
the fabric of our democracy.
All too many people paid no heed to
the distant thunder forewarning
of this storm’s approach.
One candidate in the 2016 presidential
election set loose thunderous clap after clap
that should have alerted the populace –
lie upon lie, hateful attacks on Mexicans and
Muslims, false claims of business successes
when bankruptcies, law suits, and fraud
were his true legacy as a con man,
brags about assaults on women,
ridicule of the handicapped, and
support for white supremacists.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Contact by multiple members
of his campaign with Russian agents
was ignored. Roll thunder, roll!
A campaign lacking specific details,
only slogans to arouse the crowd –-
Build That Wall! Lock Her Up!
One after another roll of distant thunder …
ignored or excused.
By the narrowest of margins the storm
swept into office. The thunder grew louder
with each action: the appointment of
unqualified cabinet officers who opposed
the work of the agency they headed,
campaign promise after promise soon forgotten,
a White House staffed with numerous people
who met in secret with Russian agents
and lied about doing so or failed to reveal it.
How could we not hear the thunder
growing nearer and nearer?
Now attacks on the free press, a cornerstone
of our beloved American democracy;
attacks on the federal judicial system
– thunder is shaking the walls of the republic.
Collusion with Russia has led to
investigations, which drew open
acts of obstruction of justice –
the thundering is booming overhead,
the hail is pelting down, the winds
are whipping, threatening to rip
asunder the structure upon which
American democracy rests.
We as a people paid too scant attention
to the distant thunder warning us.
Now we are paying a dear price
for our inattention; we are enduring
a battering storm that hit us unprepared.
And now the thunder is deafening!
Why oh why did we not pay more heed
to that distant thunder?
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