(Third) Civil Defense All Purpose Survival Cracker Poem

DSCN9381My memory
or what’s left of it
helps to hustle ten-gallon gold metallic tins
uncovered in a midnight romp
from my dorm sub-basement
for various friends supplementing
their food service rations
and defying the unlikely efficacy
of anything labelled
civil defense all purpose survival crackers
to survive the scenario
of an all out nuclear war with the Soviets
back then in 1969

My childhood
or what was left of it, in 1962
mimed the wimpled so called
Sister of Mercy
in the duck and cover one-act instruction
repeated by school children
beneath desks all across our great land
during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Had I been able to nibble even one
soul annihilatingly tasteless survival cracker
at that time
I would surely not have bothered
rehearsing to prolong the agony
Our civil defense program
or what’s left of it
seems no longer concerned
with civic distribution of tinned foodstuffs
long past consumption expiration
in this brave new world
nor the military aggression of our former enemy
(different name for the same state on steroids)
nor the fallout from their political manipulation
of our voting process –
wrong kind of fallout I guess

Our democratic process
or what’s left of it, voted
to build walls
to ship back “their tired and their poor”
to relabel doors on bathrooms
to make everywhere a shooting range
and anything that moves
target practice for the NRA
to raise workers taxes
(while the rich stay “smart”)
to gut workers health access
to let the environment
(or what’s left of it)
be raped wholesale
by the same rich white male club
who think rape itself another
reality show entertainment

My hope
or what’s left of it
is to round up these guys
and make them survive
in an underground bunker
on these expired crackers
or Soylent Green
whichever we can still find
on Ebay
after our republic
or what’s left of it
survives the next four years


One Response to “(Third) Civil Defense All Purpose Survival Cracker Poem”

  1. Jen Payne Says:

    Oh Gemma. This is beautiful in that way that makes a heart break slowly with each word you don’t want to believe is true.

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