FOR A SECRETARY OF STATE
We did not choose to know. He did not lie
Precisely. Talked of overwhelming need
For change. ‘If you would garden you must weed’
He never said he wished that these would die.
The old sick lame mad noisy idle queer.
He had long lists as angry statesmen do
You’d never know until he listed you
Except some of your friends would disappear
The social death of never having cash
No fares or shoes to go where people meet
You do not talk or write if you don’t eat
Nothing as crude as ovens full of ash.
They’ll ask us how. We’ll weep. Do not forget
Many might live. There are high lampposts yet.