A giant copper moon flares on the lake
in the early dark, and on the car radio, talk.
Talk trying to chew despair. Talk about fear
to hide fear. Talk about talk about talk.
Fifty cents, a dollar a word. It is all just talk
until it isn’t. A day may come soon when
we’ll have to pay with our lives for the lives
of our friends. What else did we ever have
to pay with? What else were we ever for?
Each ripple on the lake is a lick of flame.
Click here to read Richard Hoffman on the writing of this poem:
Richard Hoffman: “Horizon” was written just days after the calamitous election of Donald Trump in 2016. The moon was low and full and I was low and full of fear. That moon felt not beautiful but portentous. It is three years later and I am more, not less afraid of the ravenous greed, hatred, and fascism that has been unleashed. And while we have not been asked — yet — to lay down our lives for our friends, we are being asked to take up the fight for them: for DACA Americans, for people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, children, the homeless, all of whom are being stripped of even the meager protections that had been afforded them.
Image: “Moon rises over Palma de Mallorca” by TheWitscher, licensed under CC 2.0