“My One Time Agreeing with U.S. President Donald Trump” by Dawn Macdonald

Dawn Macdonald


I never understood wind
how it loops and loses
soft ground, loess

picking things up over here and
putting them down over there

you know you cannot keep

scuffling with such big feet

and how it grabs you and lets you
go home saying, “oh, the wind.”

the wind answers to different
names—breeze, blow, gale,
gust, low pressure outflow—
but most often we say, “it’s windy,” and get no
answer, can’t even hear
you say, “it’s windy”—just see
the lips move. the wind is all the sound.
and I have never understood.

there’s more to the wind, I think,
than what we think.
for a thought is but a twinge, a sputtered
spark; the wind can strip bark and lay low
oak, house, holiday
umbrella, can blow the day dark.

the wind is of the world and always
chasing its tail, though it has
nowhere to go, just around, and I could learn
to stop standing, and still
to let you know.
I saw your lips move.
words don’t matter.
I saw the shapes of them,
going up and down,
and I say, though I don’t know,
“I know,” and “yes.”

from Poets Respond
December 29, 2019


Dawn Macdonald: “I wrote this poem based on the headline, but then went back to read the story, and found further points of contact. ‘I never understood wind,’ says U.S. President Donald Trump, and I have to agree with him—wind is baffling—even that word, ‘baffling,’ sounds like a word for a kind of wind. Okay, to be fair, he was talking about wind turbines, which have their pros (renewable energy) and cons (threats to wildlife among them), and which probably most readers of the article don’t understand in all their engineering detail. It almost doesn’t matter what he doesn’t understand—once you start with not understanding one thing, it spirals out into a whole chain of things to not understand until you’ve unstuck the entire layer of meaning from the world. So there!”

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