I Tell My Friends

I tell my friends
I’m afraid.
They tell me
it couldn’t happen here.
They can’t imagine
we’d vote against
our own self-interest.
I tell them we do.
All the time.

I tell my friends
Germany became Nazi Germany.
Germans didn’t see it coming,
couldn’t imagine it.
Nationalism screwed up
the collective psyche of reasonable people.
Code red, white and black.
Code fear.
I tell my friends
a shocking percentage of Jews
voted for Hitler.
Then stayed too long
in a nation going mad.

I recite Anne Frank’s last entry:
In spite of everything, I still believe
people are good at heart…
I tell my friends
she didn’t realize it would be her last,
couldn’t imagine friends would turn them in
three days later.
I quote Reverend Niemoller:
Then they came for me and
there was no one left to speak for me.
I post the quote on my front door.

I tell my friends
I want to be brave like protesters who yell,
FASCIST!
BIGOT!
RACIST!
and aren’t afraid of the goons
who rough them up
while the crowd spits on and kicks them.
I tell my friends
social justice is worth my life.

I need to know I tried
to stop the ascendancy of evil.
Tried to stop good people
from endorsing campaigns fueled by hatred of
women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, journalists.
Campaigns that appeal to our most unholy selves,
screwing up our collective psyche.
Code red, white and blue.
Code fear.

I tell my friends
if this isn’t stopped now,
there may be no stopping it.
And now I’m telling you
to tell your friends.

-Patricia A. Nugent, February 2016

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10 Comments

Filed under Journal Arts, Uncategorized

10 responses to “I Tell My Friends

  1. James B. Lesperance, Jr.

    Just so you know … if Bernie doesn’t get the nod, I’m voting Trump.

    If they’re not going to fix the system, then I’m with those who want to break the system.

    Like

  2. Pat Leonard

    Very powerful and true! Excellent poem.Why not send it to “Letters to the Editor,” local papers? We all need a wake up call. I’m scared, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: It couldn’t happen here – could it? | Rantcaster

  4. In awe of Niemoller’s words, so well-suited: “Then they came for me and
    there was no one left to speak for me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: I Tell My Friends life as it is becoming under the tories in britain,what it will become under trump as president of the U S A. | circusbuoy

  6. A child comes home from school running and smiling up to his Mom. His Mom looks at him with joy and ask what he is so excited about. “I won” I Won ! His Mother aware that today was the election for his class president and her son was riunning along with several other classmates . You won ! I’m so proud of you. Please tell me all about it and what your campaign was based on… Changing the lunch menu, promising to clean up the play ground… Tell me , tell me what was it that made everyone vote for you? Her son looked at his Mother with a gleem In his eye and a smirch of a laugh, and he replied” promises, I did not have to make any promises, at least none I could really keep…. I started a rumor about Billy, telling everyone how he lies, and how Tommy is just plain stupid, and well…Mary did not have a chance because she is a girl, and no girl could do anything well as a boy since she is fat…. Oh ,…and I told everyone that Juan isn’t even from this country and he should just go back to where he came from.His Mother was speechless and finally said “where did you learn this? Who told you that you could win an election by saying negative and harsh and hurtful things about others? Her son looked at her puzzled and confused…..the President of the United States does it, how can it be wrong, our teacher told us the President is the most powerful person in the world….. And he won the election by doing the same thing, right Mom?

    Liked by 1 person

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