Volume 23, Number 3

The Great Depression

As if there were a moral distinction
between up and down,

as if politics did not infect poetry
with its many-armed lives,

cancerous and brief,
constant change.

As if the people who lost their homes
or lives to the Great Depression

saw it coming, knew before it was on them,
in a commercial with Clint Eastwood's

smooth voice promising hope to the masses,
undermining panic.

As if the poets could be heard, the old poet,
reading from a yellowed page,

the young poet standing up tentatively
to be counted.

—Kate Hammerich