Awakening of a Septuagenarian

I am a product of white privilege.
I hula-hooped and pogo-sticked through youth
scholarshipped through college on the debate team
married, bought a house, and had two children.
We had two dogs who roamed our big back yard.
a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes.
Our kids had good friends, played board games
took music lessons, learned to drive,
went to high school swing choir competitions.
They went to college, married,
bought a house, and had kids
who took music lessons and walked to school.
None of us had the proverbial picket fence,
but sure seemed we had everything else.
I had no idea there was a Green Book.

At seventy-three, I am appalled, frightened,
and petrified for this country.
I applaud all who take a knee
and decry the knee that pressed,
without mercy, on George Floyd’s neck –
8 minutes and 15 seconds of deliberate hell.
I decry the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.
I decry the narcissistic occupant
whose utter disregard for science,
truth, the environment, the letter of the law,
sacrifices made by our armed forces,
has decimated the moral fiber of this country,
left us with 200,000 lives lost to Covid.
And the number grows.
Yet people follow this self-centered prat,
gather in enclosed spaces
no masks, no social distance,
cheer on this person
masquerading as our president.
The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
except to keep him in power.
I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
and I WILL VOTE.
I maintain hope in the good.
That is my protest.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where today Grace asks us to consider protest poetry.

22 thoughts on “Awakening of a Septuagenarian

  1. sanaarizvi September 24, 2020 / 6:41 pm

    Oh Lillian, this is so heartfelt and poignant! Yes, I too maintain hope in the good. Fingers crossed for the upcoming elections. 💝

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:04 pm

      We so desperately need a change in this country. Democracy and sanity are at stake.

      Like

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus September 24, 2020 / 7:19 pm

    I applaud your honesty regarding our white privileges in the past, a past that seems all Norman Rockwell and Ozzie & Harriet in reflection, all summer of love and muscle cars, juxtaposed to the Fascism and fricking fraud and chaos and stupidity and darkness we navigate these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:06 pm

      How sheltered we were. We absolutely must have a change come November!

      Like

  3. Grace September 24, 2020 / 7:38 pm

    We Canadians are watching in horror and we can’t wait until you vote him out of that office. He is such a disgrace to humankind. Thank you for your honesty. I really like this call to action part:

    I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
    and I WILL VOTE.
    I maintain hope in the good.
    That is my protest.

    I pray with you dear neighbors that you get it right this time around in November.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:08 pm

      Trust me, we need your prayers. He is trying to steal the election, suppress the vote anyway he can, and so so sadly, Republican senators and representatives sit by and do nothing. I get physically sick thinking about it.

      Like

  4. Patricia September 24, 2020 / 9:06 pm

    Bold, truthful and said in love

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you. It’s how I feel.

      Like

  5. Ingrid September 25, 2020 / 3:49 am

    I maintain that hope too, Lillian, and it’s the best protest we can make.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kim881 September 25, 2020 / 5:45 am

    It’s strange to realise that what I saw in American films when I was growing up was real, that people actually lived the life you describe in your opening stanza, Lill. Not that I was completely deprived when I was a child, but my life was very different. And then I read the second stanza and I felt the anger, frustration and fear that you write about. The thing is, the atrocities that are happening in the USA will spread to other parts of the world, because some people support Trump’s form of fascism and, as you say:
    ‘…people follow this self-centered prat,
    gather in enclosed spaces
    no masks, no social distance,
    cheer on this person
    masquerading as our president.
    The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
    except to keep him in power.’
    We are all in danger. Voting is the only way – other than Glenn’s blunderbuss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:10 pm

      The real fear here is that he is openly trying to steal the election; casting doubt on mail-in ballots (which he uses and many states have had for years); suppressing the vote by intimidation and scurious law suits. It is frightening. Good MUST win out!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rothpoetry September 25, 2020 / 10:15 am

    I can appreciate your heartfelt post! Many of us came up in a white privilege the had now idea the atrocities that were being committed in other parts of the country. I had no idea there were signs for colored and white until I was in college!! The time for changing the injustices of the past is here. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:11 pm

      Thank you. Yes….you’ve expressed it well in your comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rothpoetry September 25, 2020 / 4:41 pm

        You are welcome and thank you!

        Like

  8. Beverly Crawford September 25, 2020 / 10:48 am

    Oh Lillian, you said so eloquently what I said with sarcasm. We have similar backgrounds, and we are equally horrified at our current lack of leadership that’s engendering hate and divisiveness. My absentee ballot arrived in the m ail yesterday. I will vote my protest along with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 25, 2020 / 12:12 pm

      Good must win on November 3rd. I think of this occupant as Evil Incarnate. The divisiveness and hate he has unleashed and given free reign is frightening.

      Like

  9. Mary (tqhousecat) September 25, 2020 / 6:33 pm

    When there were judges, man asked for a king, and God said okay. Ever since, we cry. Any one we get, there will be tears. I’m waiting for the Heavenly one. Until then I make the best choice I can, but I know down the road, I will cry.

    Like

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 27, 2020 / 11:16 am

    The first part makes me think of “little boxes”… coming from such a position of privilege it’s really shocking to see how far he has managed to pull the party that once tried to be honest… when calls from law and order come from the mouth of the burglar you know it’s not good.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s