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Voices / Poem

01.06.21

Verandah Porche read this poem at a vigil at Pliny Park in Brattleboro to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the siege of the U.S. Capitol by insurrectionists on Jan. 6. “Watching reruns of treason after the witching hours, I penned this poem,” she says.

Guilford

Here, embedded in this half-cocked

coup is a tacit murder-suicide pact.

Witness the rage of pawns.

* * *

Unbridled white guys, and a clutch

of women (one of whom will take a bullet),

muscle into our sacred chambers.

* * *

Here, they break the rites, manhandle

heirlooms, ransack keepsakes,

revel in their easy terror.

* * *

* * *

Those who stride out, cower, cough,

crow, who show the selfie;

* * *

Those who, gloved and badged, must walk

the pale marauders back, unscathed;

* * *

Those who scoop the wrath and file

the super-spread, defiant feature;

* * *

Those who disinfect, collect the shards,

restore the sheen of safety;

* * *

Those who reconvene, speechify,

and grind thru governing all night;

* * *

Those whose day will live in infamy

may learn our carefree virus never sleeps.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #646 (Wednesday, January 12, 2022). This story appeared on page B1.

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