“Trumped-Up” by Lisa DeSiro

Lisa DeSiro


What will suffice for Mr. Trump? Banning us all?
Him and his hair stump-speechifying us all?

Candidates clamor for our attention in the kitchen.
They’re cooking holiday rump roast for us all.

A river of tears has flooded the world’s basement;
there isn’t a pump big enough for us all.

Pharmaceutical companies tell us not to worry,
they’re making a mumps vaccine for us all.

A man, a woman, a child—whoever we are
terrorists don’t care. They lump us all

together as The Enemy. We do the same.
At night the monsters jump us. All

our neighborhoods are watching. Some say
the government just wants to hump us all.

Some, for comfort, quote the famous words
of Forrest Gump: box of chocolates for us all.

Poor old Lady Liberty, trying to keep her torch
bright and not become a frump. For us all,

that light’s supposed to shine. Isn’t it? Unless
aliens arrive, take over, dump us all

off the planet. Or zombies. Or vampires.
Who you calling a chump? Us, all

of us are complicit. Myself included.
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride for us all.

Poets Respond
December 13, 2015

[download audio]


Lisa DeSiro: “I wrote this poem today in response to a BBC online news article about statements made by Donald Trump. For some reason, I started thinking of words that rhyme with trump, which made me want to create a ghazal, which is a poetic form with Arabic roots. I wanted to address the anxiety felt by many Americans regarding the presidential campaign and current events. To begin my poem, I borrowed the first few words of Agha Shahid Ali’s ghazal ‘Even the Rain,’ which itself quotes another poem (E.E. Cumming’s ‘somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond’) in its final line.” (website)

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