Election Year Politics: A Poem

We honor hard work and honesty

No name calling no insults

No distorting the facts to serve your

Swerve your disturb your base

Replace the sour face with one of grace

Deface the monuments of your foes

Or step on toes because who knows

Better than you or me what it

Means to be free in 2016

A mean season a time of treason

The jib the jab the bloody rag

The ring the bout the bitter lout

The fix the flash the eyelid gash

The toothy smile the wailing child

The grin the lie we are so sly

We honor hard work and honesty

But only see our friends in need

the plant the seed the discontent

Sown with so much ill intent,

Watered with pride a two year deride

Of him and her that cat don’t purr

That face this race

this thing you sing

You chant you curse

You call the hearse

For this is a world of us and them

And power is the last frontier

You hear you cry you yell

You starve you beg you sell

you doubt you strive

you think you see

a ring of gold our destiny.


To Henry, The Birth of Sorrow

Sneaking away from fourth grade

across the playing field

to the convenience store where

shelves of candy—all child-height and

shiny—lead you from mischief

into deceit. Your father

once ran out the double doors

and hid in a shady spot where books

and teachers could not reach him. You

have learned to ignore consequence,

to call being good by many

other names. Your father

used to drop worksheets on the floor

beneath his desk and wander home

with a clean conscience.


You, Henry, are indeed, my son, and

I am scared that you will get a C on

a report card four years from

now and, assume, just as I did, that time           

neither plods nor sprints, that teachers

neither care nor hate, that parents

will always forgive and childhood is

the playground where sorrows are planted far

too deep to ever cause us harm.