McQuillan’s World: What A French Queen Could Teach Us

March 23, 2021

By Michael McQuillan

Where have all the statesmen gone
who sought to stop war in my
youth

Or made civil rights speeches that
moved us in streets slick sound bites
are how the Senate speaks now of

what it won’t do for the hungry
and homeless who populate parks
in Spring’s sunshine glory since

A miracle saw them through a blizzard
beyond frigid winter cold but April
showers soak folks stuck in seas of mud

A parliamentary rule ruled out fighting
for a mere fifteen dollar minimum wage
that equates to thirty thousand yearly

Before taxes with $174,000 salaries
free flights cheap health care and a 25 buck
monthly on site gym with paddle ball and sauna

For our masquerade Congress its
conscience in boxes blindfolds on eyes to
save them from facing realities

When proliferating tents kindle quaint
Hooverville tales before bursting
complacent thoughts that

The greatest country in the history of
the world is coming back to counter
Russians or Chinese

So many of our own who suffer seem invisible
until they have had enough and force us
awake with their demand

That we atone for selfish hypocrisy and
the apathy of ignorance by compassionate
action to achieve so often cited ideals

Marie Antoinette thought starving peasants
were happy to see her as she rode past in her coach
within her mistake is a lesson

If anyone’s listening

Michael McQuillan, former U.S. Senate aide, Peace Corps volunteer and history teacher, chaired the N.Y.P.D. Training Advisory Council’s Race Subcommittee and writes for The Write Launch, History News Network, Harlem World Magazine and his blog (https://mcquillan-unity-forum.squarespace.com)

Photo credit: Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC


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