Lest We Forget
It is quite impossible
to hold on to all the pieces
of this skewed 3-D jigsaw puzzle
with flying color chips
each a prismatic reflection
of the chaos and cacophony
that is Washington and the country
and the world.
It is a game, all a game.
The nanosecond you grasp one piece
in your quivering hand,
your quavering mind,
thinking you see a pattern,
a space to fit it in,
a toddler rushes into the table,
pieces jostled out of place once more.
I don’t care for games,
But this is every game ever played--
marching to the beat
until the music stops
and you are the one left standing
discomforted and alone.
The one with red balls flying at your face
thrown by someone you thought you trusted.
The one with the tiny figures
that move around a board
hoarding money and real estate
and a jail that never holds anyone
but you for an extended time.
The etch-o-sketch that creates
and then destroys.
There are no rules.
There is no finale.
The band plays on and on--
a calliope one moment,
a dirge the next.
I wake with fists clenched
across my chest,
gasping for air.
The game never ends.
There is no death.
An inspiration catches in my throat;
a different reality might be endearing.
When the game moves on to the next level,
The next hopscotch square,
we turn our heads and wonder how we got here,
and all we can do now is watch and watch and watch.
I finally dealt the same fate to the Monopoly game
as I did to the Ouija board
left sealed in my closet.
These remind me of the weird symmetry of
not games but warnings of visceral abuse.
When I was a child
I had a recurring nightmare,
or was it a waking vision,
of the end of the Earth,
Coffins spinning out of graves
jettisoned with their depleted contents
out into the vastness of space,
going back from whence we came.
The vision was always terrifying--
end of the planet she was tucked in on.
I think of the terror,
I had never seen a coffin,
I had never seen a death,
I had never seen a corpse,
but there these exploded from or into
Lately, I think these were visions
repeated so I would not forget,
The new cycle begins again
with the closing gyre
of the last one,
the last shudder
of an experiment
that once again failed.
How many times have we been here
in this moment?