MISINTERPRETING A COLLAGE DURING TRUMP’S PRESIDENCY
I see a wasp. It’s Trump and Pence and every televangelist
that condemns lesbians. Sean Hannity’s anti-LGBT rhetoric,
like the hornet that crawls into the cracks of attics
in America’s heartland, riles up red-hatted white males
to swarm and antagonize by parading their straight pride.
The woman’s eye, sober-wide, is as steady as a steel beam.
Her face is ready for the sting. I look closer at the collage.
Something isn’t right—the broad waist. I discover
it’s a female elm sawfly. Now, it joins
with the woman. The yellow bands around its abdomen
matches the sash worn by Susan B. Anthony as she
marched in Kansas. Gold-colored drops glow with hope.
I’m not surprised that I got it wrong. I keep mixing things up,
seeing something that isn’t there. Last year, during dinner
at my parent’s house, we discussed the Religious Freedom Act.
I said, “Two women in love should be allowed to get a pizza together.”
My brother-in-law said, “We need to protect business owner’s rights.”
I said, “It’s discrimination against the gay community.”
He said, “The Bible says homosexuality is an abomination.”
After that, whenever my parents invited me over, I asked, “Will he
be there?” I skipped my nephew’s high school graduation.
In July, my schnauzer Bogie had to be put down. My parents
away on an Alaskan cruise, my sister busy at nursing school,
my brother-in-law—Brian—offered to come with me.
In the room, we held hands. Before the veterinarian inserted
the needle, Brian kissed the top of Bogie’s head.
It’s common to confuse the sawfly for another pest.
In the larvae stage, it looks similar to a slug. Later, it shifts
slowly into resembling a caterpillar. After pupation, people
presume it’s a wasp. The female’s ovipositor unfolds
like a jackknife and it saws into the stem of the plant to deposit
its eggs. It’s harmless to us—we make the error
of mistaking it for a stinger.
—from Ekphrastic Challenge
August 2019, Artist’s Choice
Why do I love this poem?
Well it deals with four sensitive topics of this modern age:
1. Christianity and Bible
2. Homosexuality - Lesbianism
3. Trump - the President guy
4. Euthanasia of loved ones - i.e. pets
The poem deals with the above in a sensitive way, there is no violence
against the persons, no invectives other than WASP, N handles opposition
by avoidance, the discrimination by N against the Christian is by avoidance
a kind of social death. The poet cleverly brings N to a place where he/she
admits that she/he has discriminated against the Christian but in a clever way
by showing the collage, that N has confused the bee in the collage as being
a Thai bee , but in fact it is a fly. I love the scene where the pet dog is about
to be put down, N has asked the brother-in-law, Brian, to attend, they hold hands
and Brian (the Christian) kisses the dog farewell. This is a healing scene, and the
poet doesn't milk our emotions, the poet let's us work it out, and then the poet
switches to the bee, that N is mistaken, that the larvae looks like a slug, but
in fact the adult insect is harmless to mankind, it is not a stinger. You can work
it out for yourselves. I have rarely enjoyed a poem so much, it speaks of peace
and holding a view doesn't make one a stinger, we just have strong and different
views on how this world is to be run.
The poem is available on the Rattle website and the poem was posted in August 2019.
ieuan ap hywel
Our discussion forum for topics related to writer's block, poetry, the literary arts in general, and anything else of cosmic import.
1 post • Page 1 of 1