Turning Away From the Wreck: Blowing a kiss to Adrienne Rich

Beautiful pink lotus flower in bloom
Turning Away From the Wreck:
Blowing a kiss to Adrienne Rich

Copyright 2023 by Alice Walker

Will the one on the way
To prison
Run for President?
Will the one who should be
Napping
Forget us 
In his sleep?
Let us rouse ourselves
Americans.
We who can barely 
Grasp 
How it has happened
That we have fallen
Into impotent rage
And manufactured
Controversy.
We who sit stunned
To see our children
Becoming strangers
And the dollar bill
Disappearing 
Into memory.

What can we do? Usually
Something
We do not wish
To care about:
We must listen
To each other.  Shouting 
Each other down
Will not save us.
The river is high
As foretold by Hopi elders;
Our raft 
Not strong.  Sturdiness
Of anything, it seems,
Has become a concept
From the past.

Still.  Let us gather ourselves.
Lie under a tree somewhere
And reread or read for the first time
Leaves of Grass 
Poetry that reminds us
Where we are 
Always heading 
Regardless of how loud
And cruelly
Some of us shout.

Today I think I saw
A way out of our distress:
It is the same vision I have
When times are not only hard
But insane:
Dump everything you can
That does not work
Has not worked
And never will.
Listen to those 
Sensible enough
To love themselves;
Clear headed and hearted enough
To see that you
Even confused and hard to take
Are another version
Of themselves.

Who knows, “lucky Americans”
We might still 
Have the slimmest 
Chance:
By
Leading Ourselves:
Via citizen representation
Thoughtfully reimagined,
by Grand Parent
Council.
Even with this prescription 
We are not talking about
Being saved.

We are in the rapids
Headed for a destiny
Long foretold
Of Conquering Empires.

We will think new thoughts
Or drown in the turbulence
Of our
Self-righteous
 hot air
That is a flimsy
Covering
For our grief
A mocking
Echo  
Of  our
Despair.

***