Past Imperfect

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


27 replies »

  1. We all wonder. The hope is the last pea brained Ignoramasaurus is soon to crash into the primordial ooze, or swamp.There is hope, after all. There better be. Camelot isn’t ready to tumble into the murky waters just yet.
    Well written, well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “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”

    A matter of perspective and the wisdom in a poet’s pen. Kudos!!
    A splendid poem that asks the right questions. It is a fine piece of
    work that will live long past all of us. Ya done good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done! Life was different than now, but better is subjective. Certain illnesses killed then, and don’t now for example. People walked more, ate natural foods they grew or picked themselves. Less travel because it was too expensive for the average person then. A mixed plate between then and now for certain. I think it is best we look for the positives in the time and place we are planted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I do, I look for them every day. And I truly believe that most of the world just wants peace and equality. But there are still many speedbumps and potholes on the road to such…


  4. God man, this is brilliant. I mean that in all sincerity. Well done!

    I heard a quote which I’ll probably botch, but I think it applies a little: when we excuse past injustice (racism, homophobia, etc) as “it was just the time period”, then we devalue all the people who fought the injustice in that time period.
    Keep up the fight. You are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Christi. As I mentioned to Lynette above, it just came out of nowhere. I had pulled up my trove of Past Imperfect possible photos, found this one, studied the photo to see how I could make it funny, then realized it was speaking to me in a different way. And there you have it…

      I totally agree with the quote. Justifying the past is a disservice to those who stood up…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The same country that elected Barak Obama also elected the Trumpster.

    And both Republicans Obama beat were vastly better candidates than the one we have in office now.

    I’m inclined to think of 2016 being a national bad hair day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a point. To be fair, though, Trump was not popularly-elected. (The Electoral College worked in his favor.) Neither was George W. Bush.The last Republican President to win the popular vote was George H.W. Bush, nearly 30 years ago…

      But we’ll go with the Bad Hair Day… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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