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In Memoriam: A Poem

 for George H.W. Bush, written December, 2018

In Memoriam,

Part I

Even though I know

The government is

––And always has been––

Filled with criminals,

Warmongers, racists, misogynists,

And oligarchs…

Even though I know

The people are

––And always have been––

The ones I look to

For justice and caring,

For leadership and grace…

On this day of shuttered services

––No SSI, no passports,

No mail delivered,

or decisions made––

To honor one who damaged generations.

I feel angry.

In memoriam for a person who profited

From murder and hatred.

Who sowed addiction and lies,

War and neglect.

The government shits on its people.

The people are left to clean up the mess.

And eventually, the people

Rise up.

And plant fresh flowers.

Fruits and vegetables.

The people, resilient and rebellious,

Somehow grow.

But that day?

Is not today.

Today, is a day for anger,

Incandescent in the bitter, winter wind.

Today, we remember

All that has come before.

Tomorrow, we take up planning

What comes next.

Tomorrow, we continue

To nurture one another

And spit on those who would

Grind us into dust.

We are human.

We feel angry.

And our greatest power

Is the knowledge

That, even angry, we can still love.


Part II

Most often,

I do not speak of politics,

But of justice.

Not of politicians,

But of mutual aid.

But be their last names

Clinton or Bush,

Reagan or Obama,

Or the one who shall not

Even bear a name…

All I see are legacies of pain.

Torture. Bombings. Assassinations.

Crack cocaine flooding city streets.

Men dying of curable diseases,

Told to change their behavior.

Women raped by those in power,

Told to change their clothes.

Deals made with despots

As earth cracks,

And skies and oceans choke.

Prisons built from stolen dreams.

Dark skinned people shot, and caged,

And teargassed in the streets.

I see arrogance and greed,

And the easy knowledge

That silence can be bought.

The assumption that

No one will remember

The misdeeds come to light.

The rulers count on our forgetting.

They count on our exhaustion,

Or on eyes held steady toward

The prize of fool’s gold, and

A piece of pie that

Was never baked for us.

The oligarchs know

How their billions are accrued,

And they don’t care.

They wipe their blood stained feet

Upon the masses, and go about

Their dirty business

As more die.

We must remember.

We must recall their crimes.

And we must insist

Upon our Sovereignty.

And on our love

For one another.

And on the future

Of this good, green earth.

Together, we must rise.


A link for those needing some history and context.


This is reader funded writing. I thank all of my Patreon supporters for making it possible for me to provide two free pieces of writing every month. Most of this writing would not exist without these people. They all rock.

Want to join my Patreon crew? You get advance copies of essays and stories before they hit the web, plus a chance for free books once or so a year.

I usually shout out individual donors here, but because of the political nature of this poem, I’m just offering a collective thanks today. 

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