I wrote this poem on a Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Washington DC. It’s not Wordsworth, but I thought I’d take a stab at celebrating National Poetry Month with some verse.
A woman pulls cash out of a wall
The sirens scream as the heavens fall
Helicopter Ben drops money from the sky
Far away in Iraq, the soldiers die.
The streets of San Francisco are paved with gold
But you can’t scrape and you can’t hold
Merchants of false hope, the bankers lie
Like plastic surgeons, for a piece of the pie.
Talk politics to me and whisper in my ear
None of the things I need to fear
Approach the gallows one and all
The mighty dollar is about to fall.
A billion here, a trillion there
It matters no more, not even where
When every shelf in the store is bare
Our only response is not to care.
The people marched with purple rage
Black, red, yellow and sage
An eagle soared and fell out of the sky
A tank drowned out its piercing cry.
As darkness falls, the shadows rise
An eerie echo of heaven dies
The waiters count their paltry tips
And we, in bed, shrink from the apocalypse.
– April 2009, Esme Vos Yu