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Traveling west bound on the beltway,
tuned in to WTOP,
as I rounded scenic curve
saw, “Surrender Dorothy.”
Commandment was not skywriting
composed of blackest smoke
rather it was graffitied
on overpass as a joke.

Six gleaming golden spirals
towered in the sun;
temple for the Latter Saints
where they perform baptisms.
At beltway’s far northern locale,
call it eleven on a clock,
is where I spied Oz like structure
that takes up twenty blocks.

But near the epicenter,
place where clock’s hands would turn,
stand other marble structures
that we are being taught to spurn.
Edifices for Washington and Lincoln,
Capitol and White House,
a myriad of monuments
that seem to be becoming naught but dross.

A government by and for the people
was our country’s claim to fame
but seems special interest groups
have brought us so much shame.
In Roman legislature,
when Senate votes were easily bought,
oligarchies divided up the spoils
is what history’s taught and taught.

In the intervening centuries,
the passage of time,
quieting us with bread and circuses
has proved effective strategy sublime.
No longer do we contemplate
what’s best for the land
because we’re far too busy
just holding out our hands.

The playing field’s not level
when with policy
the winners and the losers
are created by legislative decree.
The mighty and the powerful
who seem to play on different teams
equally love to manipulate
with false promises and schemes.

Woe to tender Dorothy
caught up in turmoil,
all she wants is end to spinning,
find a way to get back home.
So what does Glenda the Good
Tell Dorothy to do?
Put her faith in a Charlatan
whose solution is rigged too.

The question is not if
but rather whose ox will get gored;
there are no superhuman players
with motivations benevolent and pure.
Best that we can hope for
as we march along
is to be ever vigilant
refusing to look away
when we see something’s wrong.