A Time of Testing

During the plague,
the people did the
masters a great
favor by dying quietly,
shoveled into mass graves
from Tehran to New York.

They just died, alone,
as they always had,
with little fuss,
allowing the system
to pretend for a time that
it functioned,
had a plan, but
with no blame.

The great land,
built on promises and contradictions
and hope that life
could be mastered
if we were free enough—
just not too free to interrupt
the greed and brutality–
lumbered into catastrophe.

We did as the masters wished and
died quietly, as we always had,
so as to
cause no embarrassment
by speaking the truth
to the inept, pathological ones.

The worst is not over,
this is just the end
of the beginning. Suffering
from the plague will
test the people’s ability
to survive the
outcomes of our own making.

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