How the word stands out, ironically,
in everyday speech, as if you’d found
on the vinyl seat beside you
in a busy Italian restaurant
a length of four-inch, corrugated,
black plastic drainpipe, an object
in the whirring and jackhammering din
of an urban construction site, but startling
amid the clattering crockery and garlicky aroma
of Luigi’s Little Italy.
But then, let’s say, you begin to find
lengths of black plastic drainpipe
in the back seat of your car, under
your desk in the office, at the bottom
of your closet and under your bed.
Then you notice one beside the anchor’s desk
on the evening news, in a photo of politicians
on the front page of the paper.
Soon the startling is quotidian.
It no longer surprises or troubles you.
It’s just black plastic drainpipe, you say.
Everyone sees it. Everyone carries it around.
—from Poets Respond
February 16, 2020
Daryl Jones: “This is a response to a an opinion column by CNN reporter Stephen Collinson, who describes Donald Trump’s actions of the past week, his weaponization of the Presidency, the normalization of his egregious behavior, and the widespread complacency in the face of such unprecedented conduct. This is how democracies are lost.”