For Anita Hill

What could she say at graduation?

Be good to those different from you,

Stop violence, work hard. Her name

An inspiration to feminism; so many

Honorary degrees bestowed; but I wonder,

In her heart, is she secretly conservative?

Her graduation talk could have been taken

Either way. It was fine. One glorious cliché.

I wonder if she thought, “there, enjoy that speech;

It means whatever the new york times tells you it means.

Frankly, I’m not who you think I am. If the speech

Was boring, yet boredom is a kind of peace, after all.”

We try. Damn, we try. The humblest lips belong to eternity.

Beneath improvement, vermin propagate;

Beneath headlines, holy understandings flow.

Beneath rhetoric, rhetoric speaks what all rhetoric doesn’t know.

Everyone regrets something they aborted,

Regrets they abstracted a wrong into more wrong.

Didn’t sing. Didn’t just sing the song.

Everyone has a conservative heart,

No matter how left wing, or how vocally they protest.

Everyone has a heart, at least. Everyone knows what is best.



1 Comment

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    May 19, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Beneath headlines holy understandings flow. Incredible line.

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