America in the Mirror

We’re appalled in confronting the picture —
a reflection for too long denied —
of a country that’s spiraling swiftly
down the drain in its ethical slide.

As each visible blemish emerges
it uncovers what runs underneath
that’s more painful and deeply enduring
than the spinach between our front teeth.

We’ve been stripped of our make-believe mantle
in assuming an elegant pose,
for that arrogant profile’s now hidden
by the hideous wart on our nose.

What we fancied a flawless complexion
is revealed as a sallow facade
tinged with orange, an outbreak of acne
that is oozing infection abroad.

It’s a face only Mother could cherish,
overdue for a treatment to rout
every trace of disease and self-loathing.
We are one. “As within, so without.”

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  2019 Mary Boren

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