A beginning draft for the Wuhan series and beyond

Marks and Angles

Peace on the road
was to be achieved
through friendship
in fair weather, a
bounty before a storm
that she could not forsee

Jane’s final deterioration started
when all the local stores failed
and the aristocrats bought them.

Jane had gone batty
over the Summer:
older daughter home,
younger daughter beaten
dead by the gangs, and
she had been annoyed by
the constant chants on the speakers
of the Chinese language lessons
needed to earn guanxi

She had thought
fall would be better:
the eldest jumped for joy
when she was accepted
to a tuition-free school
as good as Harvard, a
part of the Red Ivy League, funded
by the Confucius Friendship Society

Her decline was sealed
the day the grocery store
checked her credit:
The princeling who owned it
refused to serve her because
she didn’t have enough
social credits for good behavior:
a black mark for twice not
wearing a red mask and
not passing her basic
Chinese language test.

All the stores had been
taken over by the princelings
after the coup d’etat, so
Jane had to walk far away
for an Amerigo Supermarket.

Walking was complicated:
she had to apply to
the ‘hood committee
to negotiate with the gangs
for safe passage.
(The citizen’s police
had no guns anymore)

Sitting at the window
she had a heart attack
when protestors
burned the Constitution
in a surise red fire
by the dawn’s early light

Proudly, great progress
was hailed without bullets
on the conveyance belt
and roadway to hell.

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