Jack Lorts

Until the Water Boils

                        “We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t 
                        the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”
              			  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

At first it was just hard to believe,
Impossible even;
It occurred in the early evening
And the 1st Lady went to bed early,
Anxious not to believe.

After that, 
The days passed slowly
But steadily, 
Then more quickly
And stealthily.
Things fell apart.
Autumn had just arrived,
So there were soggy days & dry days,
Warm days and cool nights,

The days passed in ignorance,
In disbelief,
And then in resignation—
We had learned to ignore it.
“We were the people who were not 
in the stories…we lived in the gaps
between the stories”  Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale 

The days passed,  
And we continued to ignore,
To accept—the inevitable? 
Were the Jews to wear the Star of David?
The Muslims the Star & Crescent?
The Gays a Rainbow blouse?
We were the people not in the stories,
Living in the gaps between.

Like a frog in slowly boiling water,
We waited.
The planes ran on time,
Less crime in the suburbs,
The days passed 
And still no strangers approached.

It wasn’t our story
Until the day the water boiled.