Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Waiting for the Return of Normal

Of late
Things in the good ol
Have been so abnormal
For so long
That the very idea
Of a return to what
Warren G. Harding
Once called
A return to Normalcy
May be all
But impossible
That such an outcome
Is even desirable

Normal for me
Means being able to
Always have
A roof over my head
I am not a big fan
Of having to sleep
In the streets or at some
Homeless shelter

Normal for me is having
Enough money to provide for
Three meals a day
And wholesome food at that
Not just high fat
High calorie
High cholesterol
Fast food franchise food
That has brought us the multiple
Plagues of heart disease
Obesity and

For me to feel normal
I also require
Some new clothes
Now and again and
Access to competent
Health care and to
Variable means of
As needed

Not a whole lot to ask for
In the grand scheme
Of things
During this time of
Lowered expectations

All around me
I see the signs
Of people and things
Breaking down
And it bothers me

I hate to see people
Having to suffer
Just because
The economy
Goes south
And good paying jobs
Seem to dry up
Like dry ice on
A hot summer’s day

I agree completely
With the lyrics of
The saying that goes
I’ve been rich
And I’ve been poor
And believe me
Rich is better

Chronic poverty
Is not only physically and
Emotionally debilitating
It can be and often is
Especially to the most
Vulnerable among us
Especially to children

Is it acceptable
That in the year 2011
The USA ranks
41st in infant mortality
Out of 45 industrialized countries
On a par with Qatar and Croatia?

Today is the 48th anniversary
Of the assassination of President
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The day is grey and
And a heavy rain has been
Falling all morning
And is expected to last
Until tomorrow

President Kennedy’s
Inaugural address is
Most memorable for the phrase
Ask not what your country can do for you
But rather ask what you can do for your country

Those words were never
More apropos than
They are today

America is waiting
For a return to Normalcy

There is an African proverb that says
That when the elephants fight
It is the grass that gets trampled

While the elephants
Continue to fight
The rest of
America is waiting

The clock is ticking
And time is running out

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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