The Sweep Of History

On curtains, corners, chairs, and table cloth,

amassed together in piles, or diffuse,

powdery like the wings of a white moth,

the dust is swept; a sad thing of disuse.

I dreamt, last night, that I met John McCain

in the Oval Office, a dismayed ghost,

and though dead, the man was also in pain;

I tried to calm him, like a concerned host,

for there was a tyrant in those great halls

that pushed about the men who had served us,

commanding them all like impotent thralls,

however small or great, with idle fuss—

it was the bristles of a careless broom

that went sweep, sweep, sweep, left, right, to and fro,

apathetic as it cleared that proud room

of history’s fallen, as the winds blow.

“I voted for Barack,” I told him, then,

and he did not seem to mind much, for I said

that I admired him for all the times when

he put America in his own stead.

He nodded sadly and vanished as dust,

and I woke to tears trickling down my cheeks,

for the tyrant sweeps aside what it must

to make space when the vox populi speaks.

 

Personal Note: I have not always agreed with John McCain in the past, whether it was in pursuit of war in the Middle East or his desire to engage Russia in a war for Ukraine.  He was always too much a War Hawk for my inclination.  That said, he had principles, and he was a man who thought the greatest honor was to serve.  I am still grateful for his attempts with John Kerry at passing Campaign Finance Reform in the United States.  Alas, Mitch McConnell would not allow the bipartisan bill to reach the Senate floor and so we have, in this country, legislation that is written by Corporations rather than by legislators who are premised in looking after the best interests of the United States.  Even so, principles matter.  Morals matter, even if they amount to no more than dust in a corner of a once-proud office now brought to ruin.  And when I saw John McCain give the Senate the crippling down-vote against the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act, I had never felt so proud of a man who I had, shamefully, vehemently disliked during his campaign against Barack Obama.  Tribalism is destroying the United States.  Trump is destroying the United States, also, by sullying its reputation and demonizing its diverse demographics, just as he demeaned John McCain as a human being.  And, yes, I did, in fact, have this dream as recorded above.  Naturally, it was not in meter, and was much sadder than mere words could ever express.  And I admit, without shame, that I did wake up with tears in my eyes, for not only John McCain, but for the United States and for humanity as a whole.  Tribalism—being a sin of my own—will destroy our species someday, unless principles guide us upon a better path.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s