January: Poetry for a New Year
Karen Wilson & Estella Lauter
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
-- Robert Frost
Tomorrow’s waves are sure to wash away
this cairn of stone I’ve built at water’s edge
Not labor wasted, nor my effort vain
There alone ‘neath clouds and sun
freshening breeze auguring storm to come
this monument to impermanence
stands – briefly – for hope’s resurgence.
-- Karen Wilson
It’s usually the kind of speech that makes American
eyes glaze over with boredom, so irrelevant
to the world of markets and finance, rugged individuals
and high stakes. If speech is not money, it is nothing.
So how do we explain the recent burst of poetry
in the high court that re-created the paper on which
corporations are chartered as persons allowed
to spend unlimited money while the rights of humans
with mothers and fathers are limited? And what about
the proposal to elevate fertilized eggs to personhood
while those who breathe must verify their birth
with pieces of paper issued by the state?
What a victory for poetry. Poof! A figure of speech
is now a person, while the human who made it
is paper. No more need for real children. The leftover
eggs on ice will be perfect descendants for paper people.
-- Estella Lauter
Originally published in Verse Wisconsin