After the 2016 Election

We share this common irritant: the smoke of distant fires.
It scalded the morning and evening sun
ember red, then hung a net of haze over the city.
After two days, friends are confined indoors, wheezing.
My throat is raw, sinuses ache.
Now dark clouds rise from the mountain.

The day after the election, police in Alton Park
stop black residents up and down the Boulevard,
as if it is Apartheid, or a new Jim Crow.

My son is driving, stopped in traffic, radio blaring.
A cop on a motorcycle passes, hangs a U, comes back,
tickets him for going 50 in a 35 mile zone.
“Yes sir,” is the drill we instilled
when we had the Talk all parents have
with their sons of color.

Five miles over the state line in Georgia,
a white boy walks the high school parking lot,
a Confederate flag tied at his neck like a cape.
Later, black students yank it from his backpack,
stomp on it, igniting threats of a race war.

My eyes are burning. Smoke threads through
the indoors air in the gym and large commons.
We choke on the fire of distant words.

Not again.

© 2019, Rachel Landrum Crumble


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

5 thoughts on “After the 2016 Election

  1. This is such a poignant commentary on sad human times. We are all together on this planet and yet so easily divided. I feel for you and your children and theirs … for we too have a rising tide of racial tension and ‘jingoism’ in UK.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I never realized how much an American president could promote/enable xenophobia, racism, and disregard for the poor. I see this situation mirrored in the UK with the current Prime Minister and recent Brexit upheaval.

    May the Lord have mercy on us all. Thank you both for your kind appreciation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It has sadly brought out the ‘worst’ in humanity. The most selfish and the aggressive bullies. It has also brought out the disenfranchised, those who have suffered as a result that they weren’t born into the right class of the privileged, educated, articulate (and ambitious) elite and comfortable, affluent middle-classes. The super-rich are reaping what they have been sowing for years, but may well lose it all against their intentions.

      Liked by 3 people

Kindly phrased comments welcome here.

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