“Donald Trump: the most powerful man on the planet.” The president rinsed his toothbrush. With a lockdown in place, the mirror shot was as close as he could get to a rally. “Don’t you forget it.”
Knotting his robe, The Donald ran ten short feet to bed. “You’ve still got it, baby.”
Picking up his phone, he got to work. Fox News flashed on the TV. His fingers flew, red hot tweets stacking up like dollar pancakes on Sunday morning at HoJos. Invoking emergency powers, he had invalidated the election, clinched by a 5-4 ruling from the Supremes. Now that’s Justice.
In the kind of stunning reversal the president is famous for, Trump declared that he will be going back to Germany, where he came from. Pouting, Trump said, “No one appreciates my genius. I made America what it is. The Dems broke it.”
It’s not the first time a Trump fled their country. Trump’s grandfather came from Germany as an economic migrant. His grandson would have kept him out. Friedrich dodged the draft in Germany, so they didn’t want him either. Like his grandson, he was not a patriot.
Trump might decide to stay here. Germany might not have him.
Agapanthus always seem too big for the vase at the cemetery. So I
bring something smaller, something that doesn’t grow in the yard.
Samuel’s life was brief. Before he died, he held my finger. Breathing through a respirator, breathing through pain, breathing away the last hours of his life; he loosened his grip. The tight fists that fought to stay alive loosened so his cold hand held my finger once before he passed.
I’m glad we had that contact, just like I’m glad to be part of my two son’s lives. Still, I sometimes wonder who Samuel might have become.
“He’s not old enough for live ammunition.” As if settling the issue she said, “He hasn’t even made his first communion.”
“He’s a good shot.” The boy’s father turned up the stairs. He wrapped the box of bullets in teddy bear paper and stuck a yellow bow on top. He never had been good with bows. But he knew she wouldn’t wrap it. Not after that tirade.
Timmy’s kindergarten buddies would come sit around the festive table. His father set the ammo carton near the cake, pride trumping judgement, fear overcoming reason.
Mother, apple pie, wrapped in ribbons, red and white and blue.
Mother pie? Did you say you put your mother in the pie? In pieces? Only a madman would do that. Don’t upset your mother. Now try again.
Some things are patriotic. Apple pie, mother, blue and red and white, for example. And Blue Stockings. Because mothers are revolutionary. And so is the white, blue, and red. A proclamation of revolution was the original intent.
What the hell are you saying here? They’re colors. And food. And who wears stockings anymore. You make it too complicated. Light a sparkler. Relax.
A small black woman stands on stage, the sinews of her arms taut against the lectern. Do you hear her?
The call: “Ain’t I a woman?”
The response: “You are a woman.”
God revealed, though even now not everyone has heard, that women are entitled to respect, to equal rights, to the dignity of their person, to freedom. 150 years ago God spoke through this tiny woman who endured hard lessons about society, about the people close to her, most importantly about herself. Do you know the saying, “The truth will set you free?” Be a sojourner. Find the truth.
Shrew: An omelet, A suitcase, A change of clothes and then a meal. Maybe. A sonnet, An altercation, with the consequence that she leaves. Again. … Cool chick changes, reverts to wasp “An omelet, bonny Kate? And sit.” “On a moveable? It will not bear me.” “I mean to bear thee.” “Don’t go all Shakespeare on me, I gotta go.” … But then she said She would not come Into my bed. I said, “Your mum, I wish her dead.” She whacked my bum I grasped her head She said, “You dumb Ass, don’t you tread On me.”
We are prohibited from shouting, “Fire,” in a crowded theater where a (citizen, terrorist, madman, patriot, bad guy) will shoot, among others, a legislator who voted against gun control. The legislator’s good friend, asked who permitted the gun in the theater, will burst into hot tears of grief.
Still he says, eyes dry, gun rights are in the Constitution. Other rights aren’t. Women fighting for choice. Sanctuary. Union organizing. Driving a car. Registering to vote. The legislator’s friend explains that there is room for disagreement. These issues evolve. But on guns, the wording is clear.
Popping wheelies on a walker equipped with bright yellow tennis balls to keep it from slip-sliding away, he makes light of his infirmities in a dangerous, delightful way. Nothing interferes with watching Wimbledon on ESPN on the Fourth of July.
An old man, young at ninety, never one to let pain triumph over life. Not early on when it might have done. Not in the war. Not when the press of reporting the news, nor the ups and downs of politics sent him low and high for fifty years. Not even when his dear wife slid away like a dream.