Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Walled In

He assembled his bogeyman made
from the bones of huddled masses
yearning to be free from violence
and poverty. 

The heart was molded from Muslims
longing to see their families.  He caged
the human spirit and promised carnage
on the streets for those who disobey.

The fearful, aggrieved crowd cheered the taming
of this brown monster of their own making as he
fed them red meat like jailing his enemies
and conjuring conspiracies to explain what

Lay in plain sight. When we needed to
wall ourselves in to save our own and our citizens’
health, he encouraged the nation to remain open,
to flow freely like blood spilled on the sidewalks

He sought with his version of law
and order.  Contrary to science, contrary
to expertise, he chose to be blind to what
the rest of the world could see.  The virus

Spread like a red-hot summer heatwave.
The underlying epidemic, which has been
circulating in the United States for
four hundred years also spiked. 

Our president lacks the strength to bend
the curve as though he were confused
these rising numbers represent our stock
market and not how sick we are.

Once the door to the free world of liberal
democracies swung both open and shut.
Now it is locked on both sides.  We are
Stuck in our living rooms alone

And forced to look at our hideousness
borne from the pathogen, like so many
that killed that indigenous of this country
when the first colonizers arrived.  

Until we regain some modicum of health,
until we practice social distancing from
our plantation mindset and until
we stamp one exit visa in November
will a vaccine be possible.

--Tom Lagasse

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