Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poem of the Week: Margit Berman

The Day Obama Decided

The day Obama decided enough was enough

and turned off his TV and slept well for the first time since 2007,

and Nancy Pelosi decided enough was enough

on a weekend in Vermont, when she threw

the Times and the Post into the woodstove unread,

and Congress decided enough was enough

staring into the mirrors of their sleeping consciences:

They began by ordering all the troops home.

You should have seen the parades.

They marched past boarded-over buildings

and threw grenades

made from tulip bulbs and tomato seeds

into weedy empty lots.

They pulled trailers down the highways

past the cornfields

and wheeled hot tubs up to the doors

of arthritic old ladies,

presented bottles full of bubble bath

stamped "Courtesy of U.S. D.O.D."

They rode ferris wheels with teenagers from Guantanamo,

passed baklava, pupusas, and mangoes on sticks

down the streets to anyone who wanted them.

Then they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The doors of the White House were flung wide open.

Anyone who wanted to could stream in

for a handshake and a plastic flag.

The air was thick with confetti

from all the shredded fear laws.

Open your mouth: You can still

taste the jagged edges.

"SB1070" and "USA PATRI"

melt away on your tongue.

-Margit Berman

Used by permission.

Margit Berman is a writer, activist, psychologist, and faculty at Dartmouth Medical School. These days she's fasting for a morally just budget, meta-analyzing Big Pharma, organizing a Park(ing) Day event in Minneapolis in September 2011, and blogging about body image and size acceptance at Berman is published in If Poetry Magazine and has won awards at the Poetry-Free-For-All and Garrison Keillor's Green Light at the End of the Dock Festival of Romantic Poetry.

Berman attended Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2008 and 2010.

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