Today I was going to write about farm subsidies going to big ag
and about speed-ups on poultry processing lines
which correlate with higher rates of COVID infection
as well as less-serious traditional injuries
like crippling pain from repetitive motion
and the occasional sliced-off finger.
Then insurrectionists marched into the Capitol
wearing MAGA hats, carrying Trump flags,
pushing aside police and barricades.
I had bookmarked a story about rusty patched bumblebees
and another about monarch butterflies—endangered, but
denied protection because there are too many endangered species
so there’s a waiting list for protection,
like the waiting list for asylum, which has no end date and
does not care whether you live or die.
Then my Twitter feed exploded with
Senators being led away to safety
Representatives scrambling for
gas masks and hiding places.
Today, on Epiphany, I planned
to take down the Christmas tree.
Instead I sat glued to Twitter and television
watching democracy crumble and wondering
where are the police where are the soldiers where are
all of those people who are supposed to defend the country.
In fifty years of marches, I have seen armored officers,
gas-masked and in riot gear,
carrying batons or guns or bayonets,
spewing tear gas or pepper spray.
Today I saw
police taking selfies with insurrectionists
Neo-Nazis posing in Congressional offices
Confederate flags carried through the Capitol
looters carrying off podiums and papers
“Murder the media” scrawled on a wall
men yelling “Wait ’til we come back with rifles”
The stock market closed higher,
Dow Jones up by 437 points.
The President said he loves his mob.
A journalist asked:
was today an insurrection, revolt, riot, terrorism, a mob?
Whatever it was
not with a bang but a whimper
of thirteen arrests.
They will be back.