There are times when speaking out directly about a course of action has done no good. This is one of these times.
Here is the first of three poems inspired by the tax bill. This one is about the estate tax.
When I was a lawyer,
We talked of generational wealth in hushed tones.
“That’s like .... generational wealth,” we’d say,
About a retiring partner’s cashout.
We tried to imagine the sum,
Its spatial, numerical, consumer dimensions,
And in our trying, we decided
That it was a worthy goal,
Symbolizing unmistakeable success.
We all wanted it, too.
As a musician,
I was talking to a real estate developer
(who had inherited her wealth).
She was going to kick out elderly immigrants from affordable housing
That she owned
That she had inherited
And rent the units
For a lot more.
I knew some of them might die on the street.
She complained about how hard she worked, but -
“I want to make sure my grandkids can eat, you know?” she said cloyingly,
Cocking her head towards me,
Sure I would understand.
And then I knew.
Is the socially-accepted term for