For the Republic
The way I’m strapped into myself I can’t escape. Wake up and be a better person! Clip your toenails, and by sun-rise make sure you’re sitting at the table reading Arendt. With a little focus I could become everything I ever wished to be: level-headed and buoyed, a real (wo)man of conviction. But no, at night, I’m like an old towel on the line, tossing and turning in the wind of the dear leader’s words. What does it matter, if I grind my teeth for the old ladies of Puerto Rico? Or take a knee in the front yard every time I hear the national anthem in my head? The neighbor just thinks I’m weeding and waves.
Copyright © 2018 by Magdalena Zurawski. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 21, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.