Editor’s note: This poem, titled ‘Headline,’ was written in response to Donald Trump’s use of the Bible on the steps of St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op on June 1, 2020.
The Golden Calf goes to church!
Memory fails to find its precedent
for idols who most esteem their worth
to bow so to God, as our President.
The procession, granted, suitable of scale
Outside sacred precincts, phalanxes of power
crowded so around, only hair, like golden mail,
discovered him — until, at last, the familiar glower.
But ah, discrepancy! To be the golden trump —
to shout and flaunt, to pronounce, to denounce —
to hold aloft the glowing book become a lump,
and faithless, lawless, ridiculous he, as Moses in a pout.