The Year in Review… Through Poetry

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On this final day of 2012, we’ve asked poet David Rothman to sum up the year. Rothman is regular contributor to our show, and teaches poetry at a number of places, including Western State Colorado University in Gunnison and CU-Boulder. He wrote this year-end poem as a letter to us...

Colorado New Year Letter 2013

It’s cold out, minus five, the night sky clear.

I pour a scotch and contemplate the year.

First: cold may make snow squeak like a violin,

But that won’t chill the hot water we’re in.

This was the warmest year ever recorded,

And did to us what so far no cold war did.

Drought, heat and beetles left their painful mark:

Some called it Waldo Canyon, some High Park.

If we don’t soon respond to climate change,

We’ll sing home, home on the desert, not the range.

Next: our election gave old hippies hope,

By bringing home the Holy Grail of dope,

Lawyers, too, have reason to rejoice –

State vs. Feds? Imagine that invoice.

This is the start and not the end of it.

It’s all so stressful. I think need a hit.

But wait: let’s send a pound to Washington,

DC. Why not? Perhaps they’d get more done.

They’d feel an overpowering urge to munch,

And follow through on plans to meet for lunch.

Third: CU Football, foot firmly in mouth,

Won 1 and lost 8 in the Pac-12 South,

Last in the league by every single measure.

But college football’s stuffed with TV treasure:

This record meant the Head Coach, John Embree

Earned a million-buck plus buyout fee,

Which made him disappointed and irate.

Well, so am I. Now let me get this straight:

Although CU can’t hold a candle to Penn State,

We do pay millions as a contract perq

To a coach who did a bad job…not to work?

What a great skill to have in a recession.

I guess I didn’t choose the right profession.

This last one’s hard. Who knew that Superstorm

Sandy had a Hook? Is our new norm

Each month to see psychotic young men arm

Themselves like combat units and strew harm

In houses, churches, cinemas and schools?

Perhaps we should review our rights and rules.

You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater –

Perhaps you can’t spray fire in one either.

Think of all those bullet-silenced voices:

America, it’s time to make some choices.

Now comes the middle of a long, dark night.

It’s ten below. Deep snow. There is no light.

My scotch is gone. The year draws to a close.

And yet, greater than us, the planet goes

Now, even now, spinning its way toward spring.

Get out and do some skiing. May love bring

You where you need to be. Dig deep. It’s there.

New life is always almost in the air.

And I resolve, like a good satirist,

To love….but skewer folly as long as I exist.