Vox Populi

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Christine Rhein: Oh 2016,

how gaunt you’ve grown, but then, it’s no surprise,

what with all that vanished weight (Bowie, for starters—


Sound and Vision) and those workouts we put you through,

loading you down with heavy headlines, stacking them


deeper day by day. Please forgive us, racing you

this way and that, watching you waste away in Flint,


in Aleppo, in the Pulse of Orlando (Purple Rain falling

silent once more), and in pulsing villages everywhere


being swallowed by the sea. Stupid, we know—

our x-ing out each spent square of you, the wonder,


and tearing you apart, a month at a time.

And now we dare to stand around your sickbed,


begging you to save your strength, because, well,

New Year’s Eve will be here soon, and we can’t help


but gather in your final hours, toasting and talking

of treating your offspring better. Please humor us—


especially in DC, Beijing, Moscow—and if

it’s not too much to ask, could you let us sing a bit,


even past midnight, and (damn it all) make us dance

together too—so painfully close and slow.


Copyright 2016 Christine Rhein. First published in American Scholar. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Christine Rhein’s first collection, Wild Flight, won the Walt McDonald Poetry Prize from Texas Tech University Press. 

One comment on “Christine Rhein: Oh 2016,

  1. laure-anne
    December 29, 2016

    A powerful, moving adieu to 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 27, 2016 by in Environmentalism, Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , .

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