In hiding till the dust settles,
he’s at a loss. Outside—a crowd
of true believers chanting MAGA words.
Words mean war to them, or they mean nothing.
Let him think: No use arguing
the facts. Facts only prove absurd
in the end. Facts have never been allowed
free access up here at the Capitol.
Looking back, he sees how futile
it all was. How he scraped and bowed,
never questioned, never leaked what he heard—
what he thought. How he buried everything.
What’s a VP to do? Peeking
out a pane he spies a small bird
darting past the gallows. Barely a cloud
in the sky. A flag flies. The door rattles.
John Perrault is the author of Jefferson’s Dream, (Hobblebush Books, 2009); Here Comes the Old Man Now, (Oyster River Press, 2005); The Ballad of Louis Wagner, (Peter Randall, 2003) and 9 CDs of his ballads and songs. He was co-recipient of the Rosalie Boyle/Norma Farber Award, from New England Poetry Club in 2008 and was nominated for a Pushcart in 2016 by Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. His work has appeared in Orbis (UK), Comstock Review, Commonweal, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Poet Lore and elsewhere. John served as Portsmouth, NH, poet laureate 2003-2005. www.johnperrault.com