You warned us back in forty-nine
About the stamping boot.
The blow could come from right or left,
And render freedom moot.
We fought a frigid war for years
Against an iron curtain.
Your corpse became freedom’s hero,
And the freshman’s burden.
But die Mauer came down, and then
Your words seemed old and tired.
Your famous work a distant year,
No more to be admired.
Our victory seemed so complete –
History at its end!
But the coming years unfolded
In ways we didn’t intend.
We spent our aspidistral lives
In shopping, while asleep.
And sold our freedom on eBay
To a vain, huckster creep.
We thought that meanings chose the words
But we were so naive.
Our leaders tell alternate facts
And ask us to believe.
You never felt comfortable
Born in your evil time.
Perhaps we share a bond with you –
Our eras seem to rhyme.
What would you make of Amazon
And your resurgent fame?
And would you like the adjective
That we’ve made of your name?
We need you in an age like this,
Your words so clear and true.
For none should face despots alone –
Not Smith. Not Jones. Not you.