Poems of the Week

American Standoff

by Nora Jay

“The teen is smirking—his expression, for me, oozes entitlement.”—The Guardian

“Covington student did no wrong.”—CNS News

A Trump-supporting schoolboy’s smirk
Revealed him as a racist jerk,
Insulting arrogantly an
Indigenous old veteran—
Until a second video
Appeared and clarified that, No,
The racists here were not young whites
But old Black Hebrew Israelites,
Who claimed the tribes had damned their souls
By idolizing totem poles.
Meanwhile, the Trumpists went to work
Upon the victim of the smirk,
Declaring him an arrant sham
Who’d never been to Vietnam;
The Anti-Trumpists reeled, but soon
Rebounded like a woke balloon
And blamed the boy again—so Vox;
He found support, of course, in Fox,
And gave, for further sympathy,
An interview to NBC
Which somehow riled both right and left—
A thing which might have bridged the cleft
And thus produced an armistice
In some quite other world than this.
The vet was also interviewed:
This too’s been variously booed,
But even journalists now seem
Fatigued or running out of steam.
The videos are quite a botch,
And really not much fun to watch;
Besides, there’s plenty more on view—
Trump-Nancy, and the Oscars do.
The details of this sad event
Will quickly fade, all passion spent;
Just one vignette looks set to lurk:
That MAGA Mona Lisa smirk.