…’To You’

” First they came for the Socialists … I did not speak out …

   and there was no one left to speak for me.”  —  Martin Niemoller

It always closes in on you the same way.

When it was about being

kidnapped (back) into slavery.

Or when peoples have been, are

plagued by epidemic genocides;

color-coded, race-and-gender or

faith-based oppressions such as

still raging pandemic patriarchies;

and when falsely accused, unjustly 

arrested, convicted, wrongfully 

sentenced just for being “other than”, 

having already been imprisoned 

in poverty, or for slipping, falling 

into the hole of addiction, homelessness;

or otherwise scourged 

as we all are presently by this 

fast-spreading genderless, raceless, 

classless, religionless, seemingly  

apocalyptic COVID-19 pathogen’s 

impendiing indiscriminate world-wide 

wipe out of so many:

… Many Thousands Gone … 

First it happens to a friend’s friends’ friends.

Then it’s a few of your friend’s friends.

After that it’s an acquaintance.

Then a friend. Eventually, friends, 

a family member or two.

Finally, in mind during daytime, in nightmare

during bits of fitful sleep you wonder if what has happened and is happening  

will happen 

Everett Hoagland was the first Poet Laureate of New Bedford. He is a recent recipient of the annual, national Langston Hughes Society Award. His poetry has been regularly published in periodicals and anthologies for over half a century. One of his recent books is Ocean Voices, published by Spinner Publications. 

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