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Poetry

Post-Inaugural Pantoum

Jade Sylvan

How lucky you are to grow up without hope.
You’ve replaced the devil with a cartoon
with a candy red face and a pitchfork smirk.
The old gods are dead.  You’re cleverer now.

You’ve replaced the devil with a cartoon.
Those towering totems of meaning and might,
the old gods, are dead.  You’re cleverer now.
After Lennon and Kennedy, how can you hope?

Those towering totems of meaning and might,
still they were slaughtered, their blood spilled mundane.
After Lennon and Kennedy, how can you hope?
You saw the high pomp of the triumphant rise —

Still they were slaughtered, their blood spilled mundane.
Best to slouch back with swearing and sneers.
You saw the high pomp of the triumphant rise,
the plummet near fatal the people endured.

Best to slouch back with swearing and sneers.
Those elders were innocent.  Ancestors naive.
The plummet, near fatal, the people endured.
The young are made different, you slyly evade.

Those elders were innocent.  Ancestors naive.
You are too clever and slick to endure.
The young are made different, you slyly evade.
You’ve seen all the programs and read all the notes.

You are too clever and slick to endure.
The videos show a shot in the back.
You’ve seen all the programs and read all the notes.
Always the outcome of such a forced rise.

The videos show a shot in the back.
The videos show a speech and a song,
Always the outcome of such a forced rise.
You won’t be blinded, trailing along.

The videos show a speech and a song.
You know the outcome before it begins.
You won’t be blinded, trailing along.
Brandish wry comments so friends know you’re clever.

You know the outcome before it begins.
Why join in song you know will be strangled?
Brandish wry comments so friends know you’re clever.
How lucky you are to grow up without hope.

Why join in song you know will be strangled?
Lyrics and devils are easy to gloss.
How lucky you are to grow up without hope.
Paint yourselves noble.  You’re clever enough.

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