Poem: Unsafe

After recently self-publishing a book of poetry, it awakened in me the desire to try and write poetry more often (as opposed to a handful over a decade). One poem I wrote shortly after President Trump’s election was the one below. People all over social media bewailed how unsafe they felt, whether rightly so or not.

Fear has gripped America. I’ve been thinking about fear frequently over the past year with an increase in terrorism, extreme viewpoints, and overall lack of understanding and love. This poem wrestles with the idea of safety and whether it was ever really attainable. We’re only so safe as we rest in God’s hands, not the government’s or our own. But until the world sees that we’ll continue in our worries.

Unsafe
11-20-16

Much can change in a single vote;
And here upon our stately boat
Fear has racked us stem to stern
And taught us lessons we can’t unlearn.

Women feel unsafe with the men at their side.
Minorities feel unsafe with the majority tide.
Immigrants fear they’ll be thrown overboard.
The rich fear the loss of their golden hoard.

Those with reason should be in power;
But who wants reason at the eleventh hour?
We’ll sail all canvas in the reckless wind,
Until our ship meets its watery end.

We are all unsafe upon this tossing sea;
Maybe once we know that we’ll let love be.

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5 thoughts on “Poem: Unsafe

  1. But fear has not gripped everyone. At least enough people felt we needed a change and welcomed a renewed trust our American culture. Do not forget that around half of the nation feel differently and we aren’t all uneducated, uncaring people by any means.

    1. I think you misunderstand. I’m not saying that people are afraid because they’re uneducated. I think people from all walks of life, whether Republican, Democrat, or otherwise, have fear of something. Women fear patriarchy, minorities fear the majority and vice versa, everyone fears terrorism and losing wealth. Across the board we all feel unsafe in some regard and that’s causing us as a nation to become in-grown and separate from each other. We react in extremes and generalizations more and more without taking time to understand the other person. That’s what I’m critiquing in this poem. We need change, yes. But I don’t think the government alone can bring America to greatness.

  2. Thank you for your response. Speaking of fear, I worry about this country becoming too loose…thinking everything has to accepted. Every view, every radical idea, every way of life etc. But having some base values for which we stand is important– as everything we conceive is not ok. That is, the world is temporary and what is beyond us is unknown. Therefore, we ought not be so willy nilly and made some decisions. What are our values? What do we generally believe? Is it everything? Because if we believe all gods are true…all desires are equal…then we might as well say we believe in nothing. I fear a lack of definition for this nation. We need to figure this out. Years ago I felt more clear. In my option, certain groups have muddied things.

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