Old Strychnine in New Bottles

How readily a social smear or slight
against a person, notwithstanding law,
becomes a celebrated plebiscite
that makes imprudent citizens guffaw.
No longer out of fashion ethnic slurs
to undermine their laissez-faire conceit.
No brown shirt bullies flashing swastikas
to scare off immigrants they’re poised to treat
by way of grassroots generosity;
just obviating contracts that they’ve signed
ensuring we get reciprocity,
once they’ve amassed the clout to change their mind.
And even as their victims stand appalled,
warped minions seem subversively enthralled.

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey and worked for many years in New York City. He loves music from Bach to Shakira to Amy Winehouse. Frank also attends a Café Philo in Lower Manhattan every other week, and a poetry workshop which are now, since Corona, ZOOM events. Read other articles by Frank.