Many months ago, fellow Swagger, Heidi Mordhorst, suggested writing a poem of farewell for our monthly challenge. At that time, none of us had any idea that it wouldn’t be a run-of-the-mill end to the school year. I remember idly thinking I’d maybe write a farewell to my alarm clock or to some aspect of my classroom.
When I finally turned my attention to this month’s challenge again, maybe a week or two ago, my initial knee-jerk poetic response was:
of my being
at the thought
There have been so many unexpected endings lately. Sigh.
In other words, I struggled with finding a way into this challenge. After numerous false starts, I toyed with the idea of not participating, but I felt guilty, especially since another Swagger, Margaret Simon, was hosting the Roundup this week at her blog, Reflections on the Teche. (Be sure to check out her beautiful golden shovel, written to her students.)
Finally, I was bemoaning the pending deadline and my lack of progress on the prompt to my daughter. We were talking about all the accumulating, worrying farewells (school, employment opportunities, truth, common decency, environmental protections, etc.) and she started riffing off the ending of “Goodnight Moon”. Inspiration struck! With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, I used her classic book as a starting point. Like so many things, it turned political.
In the great white house
there is an inept man
with a sickening band
who rally round his toxic rants.
With this bigoted liar in the oval room,
lie truth in tatters and a whiff of doom,
tax returns hidden, but no books in sight
a hunger for power—not justice, but might,
mocking tweets, outrageous lies,
a need to diminish and patronize.
Goodbye clean water and skies for our youth
Goodbye unity and national pride
and a country with citizens deeply united
Pray God, come November,
Goodbye to this Ass.
©Molly Hogan, 2020, draft (revised again after posting)
To see how my fellow Swaggers’ respond to this challenge, click below: