Going Backwards by Tom Hatch

I lived mostly 2 decade after world war 2
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various black and white devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
My parents would call friends on party line phones
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to my pen and paper,
Make my drawings for others unseen and unborn.
In the day to night I would be reminded of those men
Brave in Nam setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.

I lived in that second decade after the world war
We/they changed the world
Now others want to change it back six decades ago.
With niggers and beaners and gays in the closet
One step away from suicide
Women with open coat hangers
Muslims not a problem then
They say we should have known back then
And killed them then they think.

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