Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bearing Witness to the Times: 100 Days

100 Days

Can the first one hundred days 
Unfold the path before us?
The New Deal reshaped a nation.
The Great Society held out promise
But did not foretell the struggle
And the unraveling that would come.

These one hundred days –
Marked by petty discord,
Wartime posturing,
And confused uncertainty –
May be telling our own story.

While many voices still call out
For justice and equality,
Many others turn a blind eye
To the fascist greed
That shapes the public square.

Sober minds can recall missteps in our past:
A constitution that counted three-fifths of a person
To accommodate slaveholders;
A Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision;
A government enforcing the Indian Removal Act.

A country that sings “Let freedom ring”
While shackling slaves
And engaging in genocidal acts
Has been our paradox
Of good and evil.

Taking pains to correct past mistakes,
Our country has made gains
In “liberty and justice for all.”
Now we carefully negotiate our way
Through one hundred days of chaos,
Wondering if those gains will be lost.

“This cannot be us,”
We cry in dismay,
“We are better than this!”
This is, indeed, us.
We are those things we hate
In one another.
Where do we go from here,
Now that our true colors
Are on display?

In the clear light
And in the aftermath of an electoral vote,
Perhaps we see ourselves too clearly,
Or perhaps we do not see at all.

We live with divided allegiances
And shared dreams,
Holding out hope
That our best efforts
May yet correct
Our current missteps.

                                                ~ CK


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