Sunday, November 11, 2018

Plutocratic Denial

First sea level came for the islanders, and I continued to deny—
   Because “those people” are poor, and this is their lot in life.

Then hurricanes took out some coastal cities, and I continued to deny—
   Because I had business elsewhere, so got in my jet and steered clear.

Then fires came for rich homes in California, and I continued to deny—
   Because I was conservative, and California was full of liberals.

Then the heat took farms and spiked food prices, but I continued to deny—
   Because this was why one hoards cash, to weather rough times.

Then, finally, no one came to my dinner parties.
   Too busy “just surviving” they said,
      those with the good manners to return an RSVP.
      What was the world coming to?
   In this moment I had an epiphany—
      This might actually involve me!
      How inconvenient, this sudden wave of truth.

By the time it all came tumbling in on me, supply chains had folded
      and there was no one left even to bribe.
   Was I the last? Would anyone read this? No way to know.
   But, I smiled, neither anyone left to deny
      that this had been just a bad run of weather.
   Nothing more.


Inspired in form and spirit, of course, by Martin Niemöller's post-WWII poem “First they came...”

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