Tumultuous 2018 – A spoken word poem about the past year.
2018 began with a frightful flu that quickly turned into pneumonia; grave enough to produce an awakening of my own vulnerability and mortality.
And as I struggled to breathe and gain strength, our country also gasped and choked, coughing up discord, bellowing chaos and despair, coupled with unprincipled deeds pushing us further away from democracy and decency.
While I healed, the nation came down with a poisonous affliction. America was heavily infected with bigotry. An ailment that previously hid in the shadows of every city and slithered out only in darkness. 2018 saw it vaulting into the sunshine to spread its deadly tentacles into the light of day.
Hatred was no longer disguised and concealed. A horrific epidemic rapidly spread across the country that was cringe worthy to the majority, yet targeted the minority, as safety became less accessible day after day, and ordinary citizens found there was nowhere to hide and no one to save them from the storm troopers infected with the Trump Plague, carrying out orders that were cruel, demented, and often lethal.
Schools transformed from places of learning to halls oozing blood. Babies torn from their mothers’ arms as dogmatism reigned from sea to shining sea. Cries of children, not soldiers, rang out in the night, their moans wafted in the wind from “California to the New York Islands” to verify if America still had a conscience.
This virus begged us to ask and update the age-old question; “If a tree falls in a forest, does it still make a sound?” to “If children weep in cages does a nation still hear their cries?”
2018 was headed by a leader who alienated our allies and embraced our foes; took away our clean environment and our food regulations. Our health care was at risk, and our debt piled higher with each tick of the clock. And a madman in DC smiled and wanted parades while shaking hands with dictators. This was the 2018 I remember.
Yes, as I recuperated from illness and regained my own strength, our nation came down with a sickness that I fear may never heal. Not without preventative medicine.
I learned this year that preventative medicine is needed to care for our bodies and also to cure our political souls. Honesty, integrity, and simple kindness can wipe away greed and corruption as effectively as antibiotics cure disease.
Our nation is sick. It is time for it to heal. We must wipe away the germs that destroyed its health and find a way to bring it back to its former glory.
The cure is a simple one. The vaccine is written in the words in the poem engraved on the statue of Liberty. Every time a person reads it they will heal. Share the cure! Save a life.
THE NEW COLOSSUS by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”