I can’t see the sun today.
Plumes of gray smoke seize the sky,
Robbing it of daylight.
I can’t think clearly today.
My chest pulls tight, my eyes sting,
Like the wildfires raging in the Pacific Northwest,
Leaving ash on my windowsills.
I can’t concentrate today.
Harvey fresh in my mind,
Irma coming up behind
Puerto Rico in a bind
No money set aside
To deal with this disaster.
I cannot breathe today,
And yet the EPA is understaffed,
Healthcare for all is under attack,
And the Grand Old Party just sits there and laughs
Thinking their policies include a few life rafts
Should they ever end up in deep water.
wildfires rage in the Pacific Northwest
And ash keeps filling my windowsills.
I can’t stomach the news today.
After floods ravaged Houston,
Our DREAMERS stepped up
Only to have their futures cut
By those who scorn facts and revel in gossip
Secretly worried there is a Russia cover-up.
Putting trust in a man who does nothing but tweet
About tapes, memos, emails
I mean, does POTUS not sleep?
Just lies there and dreams up
New ways to grab power
Like reducing Title IX protections
And pardoning Arpaio.
I wonder as I sit here,
As the ash keeps blowing in,
How we ever will find peace if it’s always us versus them?
They insist on keeping statues to commemorate the past,
Allow the KKK to march, white supremacy to cast,
On this nation
While black men cry out they cannot breathe
And our prisons fill with people with no hope of liberty,
Freedom, equality, nor pursuit of happiness,
Locked up for nothing more than the color of their skin.
Though we’re a nation built by immigrants and brave young refugees
They ignore these contributions to our democracy.
a nation in crisis
(after all, North Korea’s missiles are pointed right at us)
And climate science warns this is only the beginning
Warmer waters strengthen storms pummeling our cities
Yet, we left the Paris climate pact to focus more on ISIS,
all part of this new dogmatism
Meanwhile “Charlottesville” and “Sandy Hook” are used now as colloquialisms
And I begin to wonder, as the smoke settles in
If they are really scared of ISIS,
Why we would not do all it takes to win?
Embrace people of all color, race, ethnicity
Recognize the strength of all LGBTQIA
Build an all-inclusive army like the world has never seen
Not with guns or bombs or nukes, but with diversity
For we share a common ancestor
We share a family tree
You cannot just ignore your phylogeny
The West is up in flames
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,
Yearning to breathe free
In the Pacific Northwest
Keeps filling my windowsills.
Click here to view a performance of this piece on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QYkJmRnG-8Y