My Shining Moment
It's not the cornbread, the rudimentary salad, the fresh trout from the river
not twenty steps from my door;
nor the mid-autumn light on the face of the river as it fractures a million million times.
It's the several granite rocks which rear up and oppose the onslaught of water.
Nah, they’re not brave but just do what befalls them,
throwing up spouts to spit and sputter and expose to bright sun
and crisp air, multitudes of water droplets
before they rejoin the crowd headed for the next chute
and the ones after that.
In this rudimentary cabin, absent radio, TV or phone, my news,
such as it is, is something heard on my truck's radio,
two hours before sunrise.It will not be news for long, it will in a few days,
certainly in a few weeks, not be of any great consequence
that the shapeshifter who wants to reside in the house which
goes by White told several more lies and then promised
should he be king, to enable so many vertical and horizontal drillings,
that this country would be independent of foreign sources of oil.
In the midst of this wet dream of unbounded energy, accompanied by promises of
zero unemployment and the second coming of Christ,
a lone voice spoke up to link the devastation that goes by Sandy
as it still goes, to climate change and the willful
turning of heads from anything like sunlight and fresh air.
The crowd began chanting
U S A U S A
as if a home-crowd at the gridiron, or at a contest between two gladiators,
the one clothed in red white and blue, the other, either a black beast from Kenya
without papers or, an alien from a faraway galaxy whose assignment is either to
lead Father Knows Best and his believers into unconditional surrender
to a one world government of socialist mongrels or else,
disarmed, into the petri dishes of the far off galactic empire's labs.
Two years ago, in November of 2010, I went to Milwaukee to visit my then 86 year old mom
who'd been rushed into surgery. After spending time at her beside, I went to her home, walked
across the yard to the neighbor, a transplanted Arkansas single mother of three who had directed
considerable kindness towards my mother for several years.Her mother, made some
crude comments about a sign in my mothers lawn, a sign which stood for someone opposed
to the party that goes by Tea, if it goes at all, saying no to reason, common sense, science
or anything the the other party proposed.
Because my purpose was to thank her daughter, I held my tongue and what scares me
a few days before the election, when the man who goes by the name of a glove
as he leads those who fear sunshine and air, is not the crowd's mindless chant
but how the many times in the intervening two years, beside my neighbors at the checkout line,
when talk strays from the weather or what a sucker's game the commodities market is;
at the contractor counter, in the empty spaces between placing the order for parts
and having that order filled, counted up, taxed and tallied;
when someone speaks mindlessly and hatefully,
I have chosen not to stand against the flow, but have kept my counsel.