Poem: That Time of Day


Ukraine WikiLeaksIt’s that time of day,

when military gunship helicopters come out to play

supplanting finches, towhees, sparrows

with rotors roaring over urban gardeners with hearts-a-soaring,

proletariat peasants ignoring our deplorable genetics, our feeble marrows,

cryptic codes prophesizing a frenetic fate, a Golden Plate that cannot obviate

the sordid truth:

few of us will be a Clarence Darrow.

(We’re more likely to be a John Wilkes Booth).


And yet however here we are, safe and secure.

We may stalk the land with hearts impure,

but no terrorist or Russian or Chinese interloper or unwelcomed Mexican

will disturb our blissful waking slumber, not when the number of choppers and coppers with sirens

recalls a war zone, where firing a firearm will do less harm than a poor loan

paying zero interest annually, so long as our precious families remain


from the painful end of America’s whip,

the one that punishes petulant Pakistanis

and Yemenis and many Somalis and the old lady making tamales

and the children childishly chasing their youthful follies

and, when it’s that time of day,

the sovereign citizens sitting through a blitz again

reassured once more that the ongoing war against the unseen enemy —

the one who hates us cuz we’re free —

is going wonderfully well, at least on domestic shores.

Tell the ballistics department that statistics aren’t currently available and the aerial crime remains unverified.

But this part is unassailable and unmistaken:

When it’s that time of day, we’re always slightly shaken

and only somewhat terrified.

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