FOUR EPISTLES (Part 4), Jeff Newberry and Justin Evans

Editors’ note: This is last of a four-poem set submitted jointly by Justin Evans and Jeff Newberry. We opted to publish one poem on each normal publication day, over the span of a week and a half. Their bio will be included in each day’s installment. We’re also providing links back and forth to each of the poems once this series’ publication has completed. 

Letter to Newberry: Brexit, Texit, and the New American Migration

Dear Jeff: I say let them all go—
Texas, the Tea Party, the cult
of Donald Trump.  Let them all go.
It’s not polite, but we both know 
what part of the past they yearn for,
which past they think separates us
from half a century of godlessness.
We all have friends who call this
a Christian Nation in one breath
then shout at the tops of their lungs
how we are losing our religion in
the next.  We all know some version
of the Texas mother who shot her
two daughters dead in the street
ever fearful of Obama coming
to take away her guns.  I am not 
saying we don’t know honorable
conservatives, but it seems their
voices have been lost, swallowed
by the anger of a white America
gullible enough to believe one 
black President is enough to sound
the death knell to the American 
experiment. It’s generational, like
anti-vaccine advocates.  You won’t
hear your grandparents talking about
the dangers of inoculations, nor 
anyone who saw firsthand the 
ravages of Polio or Diphtheria. 
Most of the people who hold Reagan
up as a Neo-Con Messiah never 
went more than a day without food
or saw desperation in their parents.
Sometimes you have to separate
the wheat from the chaff, let the wind,
winnow the husk from the harvest.
Walt Whitman asked if the elder races
had stopped, ended their lessons.  
I add to this my own resolute question:
At what point do we stop marching
forward?  If they are not interested
in taking the next step, then perhaps
we should let them leave, saving us
the burden they are and the limits
of their myopia.  All the best, Justin.

Justin Evans’ latest book is Sailing This Nameless Ship (BlazeVOX). His next book, All the Brilliant Ideas I’ve Ever Had, is forthcoming from Foothills Publishing. He lives in rural Nevada with his artist wife, Becky, and their sons, where he teaches at the local high school. Jeff Newberry, Ph.D., teaches at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, where he lives with his graphic designer wife, Heather, and their children. His latest book is the novel, A Stairway to the Sea (Pulpwood Press). He is also author of the poetry collection, Brackish (Aldrich Press).
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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