We should have seen it coming back
In June: seeds of unrest, the troubled fiefdoms,
The snipers cloaked in blackjack oaks or sweetgums
To launch an unprovoked attack
On us with mace or Minie ball,
The ministers who joked about the sage,
The sage that withered up. In our bronze age
We missed the heralds of a fall —
The mounting shades, the Lilliputian
Insurrections waged by night — until
It dawned on us one morning with a chill,
My God, another revolution.
The trees ran up new banners, then
In bursts of color on a bombing run
Dropped propaganda leaflets. They had won.
"Give up," we read, "You'll never win."
In hindsight there's no mystery:
Too many palace coos, august parades,
Those slow mimosa Sundays, marmalades.
Plus, we were young. That's history.
We should have seen it coming. Now
The slow smoke coils around the weathercocks,
All pointing north. We have set back our clocks,
As if we could revive somehow