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The Ten Plagues

by Jeremy N. Marks

In a university town in horse country USA, platoons of upwardly mobile young adults carry patio torches and chant, “Oil and gas will not replace us!”

On social media, these kids are tarred and feathered by erstwhile allies because their leader has blue eyes and blonde hair.

One columnist asks: “Do these protestors really think they can live like the Amish, that is, go without electricity, the internal combustion engine and sit in Church every Sabbath still refusing to refer to each other as ‘her’ or ‘him’?”

On Instagram, a viral photo of celebrities and prominent politicians in solidarity circulates. No one wears makeup. They sport the hashtag, #WhoRunsTheWorld and their caption reads: “I will not be forced to age.”

* * *

As a parent, I believe today’s search is for tomorrow’s calm.

When the powers-that-be said it was time to tax carbon, I asked: “Can the future be a rebate?”

When the School Board said, “Due to cuts, we will only teach subtraction,” they posted the poem of a student who said, “I promise our generation will not be remembered for nothing.”

Did they tell him how zero is a number that had to be discovered?

* * *

In an election year, the professionals come knocking on the doors of forgotten voters. They seek people who keep the Sabbath, drive SUVs, attend their children’s football games. The canvassers believe that Jesus saves the planet from imminent catastrophe.

Like the snows of yesterday, your sins don’t exist.

They did not come looking for me, because I write poetry.

* * *

My neighbour is a man who collects weapons and stockpiles government-issue military rations. I asked him, “Did you see action?”

He said he is a man who believes in peace but was raised by a sect of Constitutional Fathers who believed in the coming displacement of American Patriots by meteorological conspiracy.

Most likely the Ten Plagues.

Copyright © 2019 by Jeremy N. Marks

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