I saw video of a prominent politician
shouting lies to an audience who seemed to love him,
who cheered each denunciation
of the other side.
They could have heiled or extended their arms
like the crowds in old newsreels,
ready to follow their leader
to his paradise of destruction.
But no, it isn’t happening, I told myself,
those old fascists had thugs in the streets,
beating up their enemies, however innocent,
and ready to kill them.
We haven’t come to that, I thought,
and then I realized: they have their thugs,
wherever they’ve passed the laws to allow
Standing Your Ground to shoot
the others. The crowds in the newsreels
didn’t see what was happening either.