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Permalink to just my poem: https://winedrunksidewalk.blogspot.com/2020/12/day-fourteen-hundred-and-sixteen.html.
I wrote a lot of the first draft of this poem on 1 June 2018 during a Poetic Expressions of the Heart event at the Arabica coffee shop in Amherst, Ohio. Every month (pre-Covid) they had a workshop followed by a featured poet reading and open mic. On that particular day, one of the workshop prompts was "What they did [was]...." A couple of days later, at home, I edited the rough piece a little and added most of the section from "What they did was spit" through "white Jesus / made in our image." But it still didn't feel finished.
Fast forward to 2020. I found the unfinished handwritten piece while going through a pile of paperwork in my office, found it still unsettlingly relevant, and dusted it off to try out at a couple of Zoom readings. Finally, in late November I decided to transcribe it into a Word document and strengthen and (as much as possible) finish it. One glaring item was that my original ending had alluded to the then still-pending 2020 Presidential election. In the wake of Trump's loss, that ending no longer seemed to work, so I replaced it with the six final lines you now see.