While I’m writing, worrying over this comma

And that misplaced paragraph, dialogue tags

And other such nonsense as makes a book,

I hear on the TV the news that my country

May elect a man who wants to do more

Than waterboarding, and tells others to shut up,

And these silencings enter my writing,

Through the openings, necessary for art, for life,

In the carefully woven fabric of my belief

In where we are as human beings

And so I write over the chaos, because

All I can do is place my personal sense

Of order across the wild face of despair

6 thoughts on “Palimpsest

  1. I think this is a superb poem, which I know I will read again and again. There is not a word, not an image out of place – from the title to the last two lines, which echo it. Its calm, measured and saddened understatement is a proper riposte to the sound and fury of demagogues everywhere. Thank you, Mary.


    • I fully endorse David Selzer’s comment. From abroad I’m seeing reports of the unfolding political soap opera, one with real ammunition to back it up no matter who gets into power, and one wonders how close does it get to the situation in Europe from seventy or eighty years ago, before a kinder gentler world becomes not only thinkable, but a dire imperative.

      Liked by 1 person

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