PF: A Poem of Farewell


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:

Every atom
of my being
at the thought
of saying

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.

Goodnight Trump

In the great white house
there is an inept man
with a sickening band
of sycophants
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 dignity
Goodbye truth
Goodbye clean water and skies for our youth
Goodbye unity and national pride
and a country with citizens deeply united
Goodbye decency
Goodbye class.
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:

Today’s host, Margaret Simon: Reflections on the Teche
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise
Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe


23 thoughts on “PF: A Poem of Farewell

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I truly hope that we will be saying farewell to the ass soon. There seems to be a tide turning on him. That stunt in front of the church angered me greatly, but I was heartened to hear the bishop’s response. We must persevere. This year will go down in history and the story will not be lies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I was thoroughly disheartened to see scads of supporters turn out for him in Maine. The tides seem so changeable these days that it’s hard to trust in them lasting in any one particular direction.


  2. OMG Molly, you have finally snapped, and in a very. good. way! (We could hear the fibers tearing a little on Facebook and then quite a bit more in your Goddess of the Ocean moment, but this is a crowning moment. (I don’t normally feel like we need to “apologize” to poets we lean on, but in this case…maybe!) It’s fitting and funny and furious. And I love it alongside your first atomic dread. This farewell, may it be so, as they say in my congregation!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gail Aldous says:

    Wow 🤩, this is great and rhyme, too! I have been angry with Trump for four years and more angry with him recently. Thank you for giving me laughter! Your poem nailed my sentiments perfectly! I pray for love, kindness, and peace to prevail. Hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Margaret Wise Brown would be so proud. Yes, I forwarded this to family and friends. Love it. Must have been such fun to write!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mitchell Linda says:

    Love it! Oh, my gosh, Molly. I laughed and loved this poem. Thank goodness for daughters and Margaret Wise Brown for the perfect inspiration to the farewell we all long for! Please post this again on Nov 3rd!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katswhiskers says:

    Oh Molly… This is so unexpected. I just had to laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lindabaie says:

    The parody of Goodnight Moon and George Bush just came through in a donation at the bookstore. How angry we were then, and it is so much worse now. You wrote it right, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Linda, I had no idea there was a parody of Goodnight Moon with George Bush. Here I thought I was being all original. I’m going to have to go look that one up. Thanks!


  8. This is amazing, Molly! Every line speaks a truth that seems so obvious, it truly baffles me that people still defend him. My heart breaks for all that we have said goodbye to in the past few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    You and Jama are ON FIRE! I’m inspired!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t even think of him without getting so angry…I’m nowhere near being able to or wanting to write poetry about the whole political situation. I guess that’s mostly because poetry is my escape and I don’t want to taint it. I really enjoyed your knee-jerk poetic response, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Laura, I know what you mean. I’ve never enjoyed politics and in general, follow it minimally–just to the point of being somewhat informed. I am so resentful about the amount of time I now spend thinking about politics and Trump. My husband and I were walking the other day, and I said, “Let’s try really hard not to talk politics at all!” and it was tough to find something to talk about that didn’t veer into the political realm! There’s so much overlap these days. 😦


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