Today, Frank Judge, poet, publisher, translator, journalist, film critic, teacher, arts administrator and host of the monthly Rochester Poets reading series offers “45,” his contribution to a Poets & Writers Stand Against Trump social media protest.
This is what we already call him,
unable to say anything more,
desperately wishing we could just
roll the number back or skip forward.
Or obliterate all trace of him
like buildings with no 13th floor.
45 become our new 13.
He’s the self-made man, made
from the few million dad
provided to get the kid on his feet.
And he made himself an icon,
a blowhard bully whose
brown hair now golden and
suspicious pre-cancerous tan
misdirected us from
the sadness and anger in America.
But he’d make the great country
great again, great as in the days
of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover
who knew all was right in the world
if the rich just got richer still.
Like a magician or master hypnotist
he made so many believe winds
of change were coming, that all
we needed was less government
protection, less taxes, less foreigners,
less health care, less money wasted
on allies, and all would be right again.
So, here he is, this drizzly January
Noon, hijacking a few ideas from
Jack Kennedy. And why not,
if it was good enough for Mrs. 45.
45 lets every nation know we’ll
pay no price, support any friend or
oppose any foe that might move us
from his vision of a shining city
on a hill more golden than his tower.
To all of us, to the world, he warns
not to ask what our country
will do. It will do nothing.
Once upon a time Dick Nixon
was elected with a secret plan
to end a war. That long war
ran on for seven more years. A
twinkling of an eye stacked
against a sixteen year war with
no land on the horizon. And
45 has a secret plan too.
And for four years, counting down
1,460 days, 35,040 hours,
we’ll keep wishing for the
missing 13th floor, a missing 45.