Letter to the Governors

From the desk of

The Sock Drawer Poet

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”

“I have a dream”

When was the last time you heard truly great words? When was the last time you heard someone speak to you instead of at you?

This is an open letter to the governors of the United States and Puerto Rico. It is especially addressed to Governor Whitmer of Michigan who, it has been reported, has been receiving death threats for her response to the pandemic.

Governors,

Speak to us. Speak to the fearful, to the frustrated, and yes, to the belligerent, and dangerous masses.

Remind us, one and all, of the sacrifices of our fathers and mothers, how, in other equally difficult times, we as American citizens set aside our comfort to protect and serve the lives of others. Remind us of the rations. Remind us of the blackout curtains, the choked streets of Manhattan and the lives lost in just and unjust wars.

Remind us how your offices failed, how governors and presidents forgot their words, stormed picket lines, blocked fine minds from a better education. Remember the flourish of signatures on broken treaties, and that the sacred and the desecrated meet at the tip of a pen. Remind us of the triumphs of empathy over billy-club and gun.

Remind us to be wary of our addiction to hope. Remind us hope is a muscle; that it will atrophy without exercising acts of compassion and prayer. Remind us that american exceptionalism is a verb, not a noun; help us help it earn back its capital letters, and that the only children who should act like children are our children, and that they should be forgiven.

Remind us you can only lead by following our example. And, go against yourself.

When the briar of conscience scratches your shoulder, go against yourself. When those who already have want more, go against yourself, and give to the hungry. Be afraid, and say so, at least to yourself.

Speak. Speak to the man with the gun. He has forgotten the face of his father. He has forgotten the voice of his mother. Listen. Listen first with one ear, then with the other. You will notice there are different sounds.  Tell the truth in what you hear.

Remember; wear shoes too small, they will ruin your feet. Wear thoughts too small they will cripple your mind.

Finally, you do not have to be a poet to speak like a poet, an honest word will speak for itself, but if you have a position, I know some good ones for hire.

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