I need to sleep with blinders on
Until hypocrisy vanishes
Like folks celebrating Covid19 front-line workers
With pots and pans and spectacular military flyovers
Meanwhile those heroes go to war
Against an invisible, overpowering enemy
Effusive gestures used like protective shields
Then, those same flag-flying individuals
Spit on and harassed our champions
Blacks, Asians, Latinos
When they are out of uniform
Still everyone swears after Covid19
“The world will be a better place!”
While whining about social distancing
and wearing masks
And shouting, “when can I get a haircut?”
(In the middle of this pandemic
with over a hundred thousand already dead)
To being perplexed at
Why we mobilized against racial injustice
Finally, and yet again
Over another senseless death
At the hands of the police
Why this death and why now?
Did we need names, faces and videos?
And what about all the others
Tucked into insignificant articles
In the Washington Post or The New York Times?
And, when Derek Chauvin is found guilty
will George Floyd’s death have mattered?
And like we’ve done before
In Watts, Newark, and Detroit…
(The list goes on and on)
Can we go home
And pat ourselves on the back
Because this time the protests
Made a difference?
To seeing our outrage orchestrated
By the left and the right
In this age of sound bites
With a reality star as president
As one side rants “Make America Great Again!”
And the other side screams, “Fascists!”
Like alternate realities in another galaxy
As we take sides on Facebook and Twitter
Smug at being righteous.
I have no answers
What has happened to us?
Sutera writes short stories, and fiction reflecting today’s crazy world, plays that explore relationships, and dark and acerbic poetry. She nourishes her passion by taking classes, attending seminars, and learning from writers she admires. She is published in Zest Magazine, The Kelsey Review, U.S. 1, and At Death’s Door, an anthology. She belongs to Room at the Table and the Princeton Writers’ Group. She lives in Lawrence.