So, looking through my papers, as I often do, I found a poem I wrote over 8 years ago that I was going to share with you in this post. And I will, real soon. It is an ironic look--isn't everything a bit ironic--at stuff I received as email one day in September of 2006. OK, so here it is:
MY LUCKY DAY
This morning, I had oatmeal and discovered,
just by turning on my Dell computer,
that I had won three remarkable monetary prizes
while I was sleeping, dreaming about a woman I knew in college
with legs from there to here and back again.
We didn't have sex in my dream--me and long legs--
but we discussed it:
and I have discovered, as I age,
that talking about sex is about as good as sex,
especially in dreams.
Trying to remember her name, I learned I was a millionaire!
I won three lotteries I never entered:
one is British and would pay me 1.5 million pounds sterling.
That, I know, whatever the exchange rate is today,
is quite enough money.
But, besides that, I won a million euros in and Irish drawing
and three more million, America, in a lottery
held in Bermuda. Imagine that!
Just by sleeping dreaming and talking about sex
with a long limbed woman whose name I don't remember
and who is in her late 50's now
(but not in the dream)
I had become rich.
What a lucky day!
And add to that it was one of those profoundly perfect
late September mornings in New England.
Lucky me! What a lucky duck...!
I bought an apartment on the upper east side
with a view of Central Park.
Plus, as you can imagine,
I sent huge checks to Save the Children,
the Democratic Party my parish church.
I endowed a chair in modern poetry at my college,
gave money to most of my friends
and set up a scholarship fund for long-legged women
whose name begins with 'W' ("Wanda", I'm almost sure
that was her name...or "Wilma"....)
All that before a second cup of coffee
and before the email from a lawyer in Rhodesia
asking me to please accept four million dollars
to watch out for the inheritance of his client,
the widow of a Rhodesian politician who needed to get
her fortune in an American bank.
It was such a lucky day that I sat on the deck
with a third cup of coffee and a cigarette,
simply enjoying autumn in Connecticut.
That would have been the post if the verdict of the Grand Jury in the Ferguson case of Michael Brown's shooting by a policeman hadn't come in.
My poem, whimsical as I think it is, simply reveals how sheltered and removed I am from the realities of the nation I live in.
I don't know how a policeman ever would have to shoot and kill an unarmed teenager. I simply don't see how all the training the police have would lead to that. Shoot them in the leg and subdue them. Use a taser and subdue them. Use your club and subdue them. And to have to shoot an unarmed 18 year old multiple times before they were subdued, until the 8th or 9th bullet (still some disagreement on that) killed them...I just can't get my head around that.
Now, add to that that the unarmed teen was Black and the Officer was White and things spin out of orbit.
I don't live in the world where that would happen. I live in a world where I can write a poem about the nonsense that gets emailed to us all and never have to worry about being unarmed and Black and being shot multiple times by a Police Officer that must have several options to subdue me and yet killed me with the 8th or 9th bullet and was exonerated by a Grand Jury.
It makes me want to fly to Missouri and demonstrate with those who live in a world so remarkably different from mine but which is in the world I live in.
It makes me mourn that I am so shielded from the world of Ferguson, MO, that I can be whimsical and have a third cup of coffee on my 'lucky day' when God knows what will happen in Ferguson tonight and in the days to come.
The word I haven't used yet is the 'R' word.
I won't use it, but it is true. Until we deal with the 'R' word, how can any day, for any of us, be a 'lucky day'?
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