“National Day of Atonement”

A few weeks ago my poem “National Day of Atonement” went up at Writers Resist, a website “born of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election”. The poem was actually written in November 2017, in response to the Virginia election results. It was the first time in a year where there seemed to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The poem takes its first line from an article about Americans actually screaming at the sky on the anniversary of the election. There is a play on Wallace Stevens’ “Blanche McCarthy” there, as well. The poem attempts to end on a note of hopefulness. Let’s hope 2018 fulfuls that wish.


“National Day of Atonement”

Scream at the empty mirror of the sky,
the waiting blue, the blinding cosmic eye,
until your pain lathes the Plutonian rim
of the Solar System.

Scream at the crystal ceiling of the sky
until it cracks up like an electoral map
of the United States, our jagged earthly cry
a collective bootstrap.

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