Learning to Live Without America

What a week! What edge of the seat reality TV! What plot twists! What amazing appearances at elevators, like an inverted stage deus ex machina! It’s great theatre if it didn’t impact so many millions of lives. And while millions still are dazzled by the Emerald City and Oz, the Great Wizard was laughed at by the world. Then, remembering the manners their mothers taught them, mildly, with the Grand Wizard. Sorry! The Great Oz.

But I will say it has been plenty fodder for poetry practice. I am now into week three of posting a poem,a,day. And it isn’t even April NaPoWriMo.

Learning to Live Without America

Everyone gets to grow up
although it can be hard to adult at times.
To have to learn a whole new language
(I do mean cultural patois here)
in which one is never completely fluent.

Yet, I am here to say it
as a kind of living Exhibit A.
It is possible.
Doable.
Sometimes even preferable.

It was proved oh so succinctly
this week in the Assembly Hall.
Now its okay to laugh at America
because America really doesn’t want to play ball
with the world. Anyway,

America is in love with walls today.
But here is a nugget of fact,
a singular Eurocentric truth,
the pith in the block of concrete
that built the so-called Peace Line.
The plot was lost with the wall. History only paused.
That is all.
When its natural arc is to march
to the tune of the twist in its tale.

But, as I was just saying about walls…

Once you have built a wall
You are on to a loser.
Go look back at the Iron Curtain.
See how that went so well?

Carving up tribal turf,
Installing all those Checkpoint Charlies,
(so kids, go Google it! Start with Berlin,
The Cold War, the creation of Soviet serfdom).

Because once you’ve built a wall
it’s not just about letting people in.
It’s also about allowing things out, which
has a tendency to make people yearn for them to fall.

The Romans tried it with the Picts.
So perhaps the building of walls is all about
holding those empire necklines,
just fashioned out of brick and edict.

It. might be time to have a long new think tank.
Because once you have built a wall
people may not want to be come in.
They may decide to drop you for your
ideological  kink. And then leave you to drown
and go down with the bubbles in your own kitchen sink.

Like the anchorites of the last dark age,
walling themselves in to be closer to God,
you are free to watch from behind your barbed wire even if you do still have nukes.
So it is possible to learn to live without America,
because no one wants to hang out with jerks.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

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3 thoughts on “Learning to Live Without America

  1. I absolutely love this, Bee… the way it neatly employs adolescent-college-fraternity lingo to dis not just that mentality in itself, but also the way in which that mindset has come to dominate public life there (‘play ball’; ‘a loser’; and that killer last line, ‘no-one wants to hang out with jerks’). A stroke of genius!

  2. The image of “empire necklines” is so apt, the extension of empires was always about wealth, power, prestige.
    “You go down with the bubbles in your own sink”, so immediate and vivid. Is Trump trying to keep America in its own bubble? Bubbles burst, empires sink….

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