After a break to get my own house in order, I am back, littering the landscape with my political poems.
I wrote this poem after hearing China’s leader, President Xi Jinping, quoted on the news. His words make up the poem’s first line.
The statement seems especially ironic in this time of strife between Russia and Ukraine, during which Ukraine has fought expressly in the name of Freedom.
But of course China is in a different situation. This nation with its enormous population is trying to clamp down on a virus that rejoices and proliferates, when people roam freely. We in the West try to co-exist with the more friendly, recent versions of the virus (though they still cause 300 deaths a day in the US!) with measures imposed, if at all, on a sliding scale. Meanwhile, China has taken a different, more effortful and more intrusive stance: that of trying to enforce zero-COVID policies.
Another interesting aspect of this self-imposed isolation in an interconnected world is China’s history of cutting itself off from the West in the past. We in the West are now so connected with and dependent upon the Chinese economy, that we can’t help but feel the effects of China’s pain: in our strained supply chain, in our jumpy stock market, and in our pocketbooks.
Sadly, both causes, the fight for freedom, and the fight to completely resist one’s desire to be free, seem to me doomed to failure. Hope I am wrong about them both! Thanks again, for coming by to read!
Control your soul’s desire for freedom.
Hole yourself within a cave.
Close the blinds and mind your business.
We don’t want the germs you have.
Staying pure and isolating
Insulates us from the Foe.
Were you not so brief in jail,
You’d blight us with that Fiend you know.
What? You tell me He’s escaped?
Our sprays and days of quarantine
Have not prevented his attempts
To breed among us, libertine?
Then lock it down, each block, each city.
All our nation, one by one.
We can’t abide this beast among us,
For this game is zero-sum.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew