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WE PANIC

By Tom Piccillo

we panic

run for the moral

high ground

hide behind our trauma

the flag

the country we imagine

we panic

point our fingers

we are blameless

in the smoke and debris

a whole nation

without winners to do interviews

the broken stand like pillars

by the side of the road

signs that read

work for food

like pillars in subways

and shopping malls

hands out for a quarter

a dime

we wonder if the layoffs next month

will hit home

and we have repo man dreams

we panic

then gloat as oil prices go down

investments level off

the evil one found

not found

a false alarm

we panic less day by day

as time makes all things familiar

and further and further away

TOM PICCILLO, the editor and publisher of the literary journal "Pure Light," teaches at Erie Community College.