gone the time for finding fault
for finger-pointing and assault
frantic now the SOS
our ship of state is in distress

taking water, sinking fast
this call for help may be its’ last
mastered by a crew of fools
as kids are slaughtered in our schools

shamelessly the talking heads
politicize our precious dead
stopping not to catch a breath
vultures in the face of death

the FBI in disarray
sickening the things they say:
“protocols that were ignored”
lives that cannot be restored

taking water, sinking fast
this call for help may be our last


Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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5 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    Powerful, Mr. Tessitore. Unbelievably sad, the line: “lives that cannot be restored.”

    I love your metaphor here, Joe, and the catalectic trochaic tetrameter you chose for this poem makes it somewhat hymn-like–reminding me of the great hymn of the same meter, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” which also speaks the same sea/ship metaphor, and which is a cry for help in its own right:

    Jesus, lover of my soul,
    Let me to Thy bosom fly,
    While the nearer waters roll,
    While the tempest still is high:
    Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
    Till the storm of life is past;
    Safe into the haven guide;
    O receive my soul at last.

  2. Dave Whippman

    Interesting blend of classical-type rhyme and metre with bang-up-to-date subject matter.

  3. Wendy Bourke

    This is very impactful and – though I am an observer from another land – strikes me as very wise and brave. It is well constructed, powerfully rendered and, to my mind: an important piece.


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