Garland Lee Thompson Jr.

This is not a Poem about Ronald Reagan

The voodoo economics of power
are ill-remembered on the eve
of laying down a leader
only those who felt its sting,
left out in the cold
to make their own way
into a dream made real
with the help of Hollywood special efx
and the mighty minions
who populate the court
only those feelers of the whip
will have memories less than kind
all others will follow happy to be in
the glow of the limelight
caught up in the happy dance
of selective remembrance
while at the center of it all
a wife and mother,
a woman after all
weeps for her beloved,
laying, flag draped, in state
who'll groan no more about stiff joints
who'll read the newspaper, talk politics,
take phone calls, mutter in the darkness
no more

whose disant eye,
near ten years gone
will never well up again,
wet with the sight of grainy memories
only he can see flickering like
an old movie he sits watching
in his private screening room
popcorn flowing from his hand to his mouth,
his tie loosened at the neck.
She would weep silently
when she saw him
staring into space
the faint flicker of those
old movie frames
flashing gently on his eyes
She would hold herself
leaning in the door frame
the glow of the hall light
wrapping around her
like a shawl
or a comforting pair of arms
warm like his once was
when the ride was young
and they were young
when the world opened up
its heart and treasures to them
all those smiles at all those parties
now replay in her mind
she reaches out to them
they offer solace that she takes willingly

she raises her frail hand
and they fall like snowflakes
as the people file past
to pay their final respects.

The voodoo economics of power
not withstanding.