Tuesday, December 3, 2019

On the Day Cokie Roberts Died

 My poem in Poets Reading the News about Cokie Roberts.

On the Day Cokie Roberts Died

in Obituaries by
I had to remember she wasn’t Nina Totenberg
And that Dan Rather wasn’t dead, only banished
But Tucker Carlson was still alive and well
Alive anyway if not well

I had to remember the news
isn’t just something you read
off a teleprompter

Sometimes it happens to you
while you’re sitting in your chair smiling
for the camera
or looking earnest thinking
you have a good story
about the current president

and then suddenly you become the news
because your truth was true but not
your sources
and then you’re gone

 Or you just die when your cancer comes back
the cancer you killed half a century ago
returned like a snake with its head chopped off, that boyfriend
you had arrested for putting his hands where
they don’t belong one too many times,
a news story that was never true,
alternative facts

Like Obama’s birth certificate
or that hurricane in Alabama

Sometimes good people who tell the truth
just die and the world goes on

I pray for good health
for Nina Totenberg
just as I pray each night for
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
and for the meteor
the tsunami
the nuclear winter
to hold off just a little


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