Past Imperfect – #581

Every once in a while

I wonder

Was it really better, then

Were things truly simpler, and kinder

Decency, Respect

Agree to Disagree

Move on and get things done

Or were we just actors

Playing given roles

Reading from the script

Pretending to pretend

Because we didn’t know otherwise

Or we knew, but chose to look away

Or didn’t have the strength

The fortitude

To demand a rewrite

Of the dialogue we were given

Conformity, an old shoe, comfortable, known

Yet still not the right size

Did some of us always see the wrong

Did some of us never see the right

Because our country, now

Is not that country, then

The deep chasm

The biting divide

The angry, angry voices

The pain

The loss

The in-who-manity

It’s easy to blame the bitter orange fruit

In the house of white

But he did not get there on his own

He was fertilized, harvested

Chosen as the prize at the county fair

Exalted even, raised high

Annointed by leaders

Of houses of worship

And other houses

With dark doors and cold, white walls

Walls to keep out the colors

A twisted border song

With lyrics devoid of compassion

Lacking those words

Decency, respect

For the better good

Was this here all along?

The savagery, the defiance, the vindictiveness

The lies

Have I rose-tinted my memories?

We had our issues, then

The racism, the misogyny, the self-imposed superiority

Of the White, Straight Whale

The persecution

Of the Ls and the Gs and the Bs and the Ts

Inequality was always in the subtext

Just under the water

But on the surface, most of us were kind

Nodding to each other politely

As our paddleboats passed

Whether we meant it or not            

And for a while, then

Between Camelot and the news of foxes

When the hopeful among us thought

We might all ride in the same boat

On that water

One day

But the tide changed

The levees broke

And the wall was started

Unfunded by Mexico

Or the Statue of Liberty

The Orange juiced a rusted machine

Once thought broken, abandoned, derelict

But it roared to life

And the threshing of the machine is loud



On the fields of Camelot

To the cheers of some

To the pain of others

And we find ourselves

Where I thought we couldn’t, shouldn’t be

Maybe it really was rose-tinted, then

And I didn’t see now

And it was always there in the script

One that now reads as a eulogy

But I hope not

I can’t NOT

The pendulum swings

We man the boats

The lifeboats

And we paddle our way

Toward the roses

Tinted and otherwise

We’ll find them, someday


But every once in a while

I wonder

4 replies »

    • Agreed, especially with the kindness angle. The bigotry and intolerance was still there, but it was muted and subtle, for the most part, hidden behind the general expectation that you should be nice in public, no matter what you think behind closed doors…


    • Thanks, Lynette. I had actually forgotten about this one, until I got sudden wild hair to update this blog with Past Imperfects that I have shared on Bonnywood before birthing them over here, which used to be the normal route. When I found it in the Bonnywood archives, I thought, wow, sometimes I can actually align those words rather nicely…

      Liked by 1 person

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