.When the Party’s Over

By Cliff Zyskowski

When the party’s over

black water oozes forth from tepid taps

in lesser towns across the land

as I pair my pinot with cherry-glazed roast pork

on a cedar plank.

When the party’s over

kids separated from their parents at the border

are left alone to defend their right to survival

as my son mulls over college apps and we hover over

the arrival of the latest 9er’s gear from amazon prime.

Drug-ridden rat-infested horrified homeless

light fires to their waste

in protest of 60-day tiny home referrals

with a lease option to enter rehab, therapy or worse:

To be blinded by the light searing the deep end

of rising tidal waters,

our planet a supernova filled with debris and malice

two degrees away from the King Midas touch of self-destruction.

My party still hangs on

as I adjust the hot tub’s jets

to chill the anger boiling over

a thousand creature comforts caressing my cloistered quietude.

My party still hangs on

as broken chips await the last of the guacamole,

401K up 7% since the last election,

cupboards stocked and belly full.

Yeah, I have solar panels,

I mentor a youth,

I docent at the garden.

It’s no longer enough

This land was made for you and me.

Look around, there’s room at the top for us all.

This land of the free, this home of the brave,

this time to rise up and take a stand for what’s right.

Will we march together, demanding

quality of life, liberty for all, flags waving high?

…the party carries on

Cliff Zyskowski is a Sonoma resident and retired psychiatric technician. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].


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