Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ellen McGrath Smith: A Royal Wedding in the Trump Era, Or My Sixth Grade Civics Head Explodes

No I’m not watching royals get married this weekend.

If I want shiny surfaces, I’ll find a river, lake, or pond,

the bathroom mirror. Are we destined to worship

descendants of people who won the most power

and wealth even now, and to worship the makers

of their clothing? The popular mind romanticizes this,

but why? Maybe I miss something obvious here,

like the need to elevate a few as if they’re rockets

we have launched with all our stuff packed inside.

I’m super-pleased a Black woman’s stepping into

the British monarchy, but I’m still thinking “monarchy,”

so that’s a hard aftertaste to smother with honey,

the color of her skin, her pert little features,

her delightful smile. Although I’m not watching,

I’m sure I’ll be fed several images all through the day,

unless I stay offline (offline!), including the train

in the aisle, like a whole population is riding on it,

like the bride is a body of water, a fountain or source.

I bridle at the thought of rulers minus the ritual

of voting, which it’s started to become, though

an empty one. And I bridle now more than ever.


 

Copyright 2018 Ellen McGrath Smith

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Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018.

3 comments on “Ellen McGrath Smith: A Royal Wedding in the Trump Era, Or My Sixth Grade Civics Head Explodes

  1. daniel r. cobb
    June 8, 2018

    Nicely done. Thanks for this, especially “the need to elevate a few as if they’re rockets we have launched with all our stuff packed inside.”

    I paid no attention to this wedding as well, for the same reasons. It’s weird how we Caucasians call a person with skin slightly darker than ours, a “Black person”. I suspect that for the monarchy, this was a matter of gradient – a deep Black woman from Sudan would not have flown.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlawsonpoet
    May 19, 2018

    Love the bridal/bridle wordplay, Ellen. “These fragments”–puns, in this case–we have shored against our ruin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. drjudybricbrac
    May 19, 2018

    What a wonderful poem!! You said it all!!! Thanks for sharing it with us! But who will hear our tears!

    Liked by 1 person

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