A Night to Remember

by Vi Ramsel

Undaunted,
the captain steers our economy
toward Third World status
where growth runs up against
the iceberg of interest payments
on the Titanic national debt.

Like Ahab
he feverishly pursues
the Great White Whale of deficit,
slashing taxes for rich constituencies
and extorting increased military spending
with the threat of international terrorism,
which leads Congress to make cuts
by jettisoning the lifeboats of social programs.

Citizens
plaint an S.O.S.
while the King of the World
mortgages their future to the Communist Chinese
and the haves, and have-mores, his base,
pull campaign contribution strings
as Congress plays “Nearer My God to Thee”
and the Ship of State begins her descent
beneath the Social Darwinist, neoconservative sea.

His laissez-faire majesty
torpedoes the Social Safety Net
and the American People jump,
or are pushed overboard
in individual, privatized lifejackets
as the United States sails
back to The Gilded Age
with a fleet of golden yachts
bearing Wall St. and Inherited Wealth
who beat the drowning off their bows
with a champagne toast -
“Sink or swim.”

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