Fiscal Cliff Poetry

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Nothing to Fear

by David Rothman

You thought you’d get a break. You thought you’d earned it.

You voted, pulled your lawn sign, maybe burned it.

You hoped things now might calm down just a bit,

That with luck half the spinmeisters would quit…

But no. These guys live for anxiety,

It pays the rent, and they need you and me

Distressed forever by each new “What if….?”

Goodbye, election: hello, fiscal cliff.

Now there’s a catchy phrase, evoking slips

As final as Mayan apocalypse:

We’ll all go whistling down out of control,

Wily Coyote-style, into some hole

Where ten lit sticks of dynamite await

To blow us to our well-earned spendthrift fate....

Or else we’re on a winding alpine road,

All tires bald, dead drunk, last night it snowed,

And whoops…we’re airborne like a great blues riff,

Rocking and rolling down the fiscal cliff,

Our potential smash a megahit

To those who might make money off of it.

OK, it’s serious. But isn’t it

Just metaphor? Take it from me, such wit

Construes no argument. Why not a fork?

A deadline? Or a choice? We do have work

To do, together, now, that much is clear.

But I can’t see how we are helped by fear.

There is no fiscal cliff. There’s only us.

And there are choices that we must discuss.

You can read David J. Rothman's poem about the 2012 election, "Waltz of the Penitent Spinmeisters," here.