Shakespeare’s Trump, Act II, Scene II

Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Memorial. Enter BAXTER with hooded PROTESTORS, carrying Confederate flags, swastikas.

BAXTER.

A babe, whose w’s are l’s and r’s,

Hath thus one word for white and light and right,

And knoweth more than th’overeducates

Who learn to hate the soil that spawn’d their blood.

Our hue doth hew all else, as well we know

’Til false reports erase and overwrite

Our pencil’d ledgers. Nay, we shan’t forget.

We shan’t forget the North’s aggressive fires,

We shan’t forget preferment splattering

Excreta over ivory until

A Kenyan communist soil’d bleach’d sand-stone,

Enslaving with his freedom those once free.

We shan’t forget this was not God’s intent:

Piebald humanity befleck’d, half-scorch’d

With cancerous exposures to the sun.

We shan’t forget, until we others meet,

The useful grunts whose bodies swaddle ours,

Who share our stride but not our ev’ry thought.

We shall forget, for getting them fair got.

Enter BOXER.

BOXER.

These hoods and swastikas I much mislike.

They too dishonor those I sanctify.

My ancestors fir’d shot as simple men,

Who like their fellows only wish’d to live.

I can condemn their cause, but not their souls.

Though coal he hateth, Albert Gore well quoth

Sinclair, that one cannot make plain a thing

To one whose livelihood makes him deny’t.

E’en Jefferson reluctant slaver was,

Whose home is here, and who this college town

Its college gave. And who can say what faults

Ten decades hence shall count as sins in us?

Had fathers not slave-fed their families,

Existence I’d know not. I owe them all.

If thou’lt equate mask’d murther and camp-kills

With fighting for their farms, I’ll take my leave.

BAXTER.

Stay, Boxer, stay. I too deplore these signs,

But signs they are of times most desperate,

When those condemning us so deaf become

That only rage can move them. Thus provok’d,

These would-be Gandhis stand reveal’d as thugs.

BOXER (aside).

“Deplore,” he saith. My hackles rise at that.

I fear he mocks me as a mawkish scold.

Yet what alternative? Shall I join youth,

Who screecheth “racist” at my honor’d dead?

Shall I stand by and let blood-sacrifice

Be rop’d off pedestal and mash’d in dirt?

Enter MARIA, a fair student of few years and Mexican descent, with COUNTERPROTESTORS.

MARIA (shouting).

Ere now I knew that Robert Lee was vile

As Benedict the treason-synonym,

But hast ye poison-powders quit pretense?

How dast ye celebrate such xenocide?

This graven image stands t’instill dark fear

In guise of history, a bugaboo

Thy shameless rhetoric decodes to shout!

BAXTER (aside).

I’d gaily see such flashing eyes abed

Reflecting dawn ere passions day-renew’d.

I’d risk miscegenation for such hours.

Her pulchritude I sore and hard suspect

Of being weapon consciously deploy’d.

BOXER (shouting).

For shame, thou town of higher learning! Learn!

Respect the corpses thou hast rob’d of life!

Thou’lt not replace us with thy globalists!

“Hail Trump,” I say, with knowledge that the words

Doth shock thy smugness silent! Hail our lord!

BAXTER (shouting).

Hail Lord God Trump! And Putin is our friend!

Aye, Jews shall not replace us! Blood and soil!

’Tis childish Harry Potter fantasy

That mudbloods stand with pures ’gainst betterment!

Unite bright right t’light night-dyed sight! Fight blight!

BAXTER feints at MARIA, who starts.

BOXER.

Nay! Hold! We far outmuscle them!

To honor those who fought with honor ’gainst

Rude gear-smok’d force, show chivalry here now!

BAXTER.

Should we then ne’er fight advantageously?

’Tis not the losingness of the Lost Cause

One should admire. (to PROTESTORS) Press on, use all due force!

BAXTER and PROTESTORS attack MARIA and COUNTERPROTESTORS. BOXER cannot part them. COUNTERPROTESTORS flee, BAXTER and PROTESTORS pursuing. The pursuit and attacks continue behind BOXER and MARIA.

BOXER.

Pray have no fear of me. I’ll harm you not.

MARIA.

Such dovish words, like churchbells in my ears!

Thou joinest would-be holocausters’ ranks

T’immortalize in sculpture manaclers

Who’d whip my spine to shrieking neuron-spikes,

But thou shan’t harm me? Slab, thou harm’st me now,

And hast me harm’d, eternally shall harm.

Unconsciously thou mak’st my face thy throne.

To cool my pains, I needs must sink my nails

Into the aloe vera of thine eyes!

MARIA attacks BOXER. He strikes her; she falls and does not rise. Exeunt BAXTER, PROTESTORS, and COUNTERPROTESTORS.

BOXER.

Wake, wake! I am not one who strikes a child!

I only flail’d in fear, as you did too.

That makes us equals. Wake and curse my name,

Or mark me deep as kitten’s claws can cut.

Do you but slumber? Breath I think I see

Bestir your breast, but eyesight fails, and t’confirm

My hope by touch would seem another crime.

What’s real doth reel. I know not who or where

Or anywhich. O Lord, send me a sign,

These bruisèd hands obey Your Speech Divine.

Enter TRUMP and KELLYANNE CONWAY.

KELLYANNE CONWAY.

Good citizens, let worries be dismiss’d!

For bad ones, justice clenches steely fist!

The governor and president have phon’d

To Appomattox this grief-shaking rout.

Enter BAXTER, and PROTESTORS at left and COUNTERPROTESTORS at right.

BOXER.

My judgment thus arrives. My sins I’ll eat.

I’ll raise no hand or voice in my defense.

BAXTER.

Thou shalt need none, my friend. Or thinkest thou

That Trump forgets us? Tush, ’twill never be!

KELLYANNE CONWAY.

Our leader now shall make a few remarks.

TRUMP.

We mourn with all these terrible events

And deep within, where our true heart resides,

We strike down hate and all it represents:

The bigot’s-violence on many sides.

BAXTER (to PROTESTORS).

On many sides! Our actions are no worse

Than those for whom one may yet send a hearse!

TRUMP.

Long hath such ferity diminsh’d peace.

It hath no place in our community.

I find it sad. But I salute police

Who’ve done so much to maintain unity.

BAXTER (to PROTESTORS).

We too respect police, our allies true,

Who bloody blacks, cleanse whites, and model blue.

MARIA rises, unnotic’d. Exit MARIA.

TRUMP.

Let this division end. Such good takes place

Within our borders, we should all be proud —

Our unemployment craters, markets boom,

Foxconn and other businesses invest

In renegotiated deals of trade,

We’ll all be billionaires someday, just wait —

Americans, regardless creed or race,

We are, with bonds of trust by God endow’d.

We need to love each other, show respect,

Respect, ideally love, we’ll not neglect.

Exeunt PROTESTORS, COUNTERPROTESTORS, TRUMP, KELLYANNE CONWAY.

BAXTER (aside).

A great man’s mind may rove when bor’d by rote.

Some speech here’s meant, some phrases staffers wrote.

BOXER.

“Regardless race, respect.” This purr doth soothe,

But trust and love I cannot give myself,

Far less ask others’ — how now? She is gone!

BAXTER.

Of whom d’you speak?

BOXER.

The woman who was here,

O’er whom I stood ere now, to my disgrace!

I’d beg her shrift, had she not shifted off.

BAXTER.

My memory returns in vague detail.

We all too many bruises see today,

Too many bloodied heads, on many sides.

But do not grieve, for speaking to her would

Avail you naught.

BOXER.

You mean she shan’t forgive.

BAXTER.

I mean her grasp of English likely is

As loose as th’bosom dancing in her blouse.

I jest, good man. Let laughter make thee strong.

We’ll need your hands as shields again ere long.

Exit BAXTER.

BOXER.

I know not what I fear, just recompense

Or ever-owing life with my offense.

Writer of comics, crosswords and all manner of things.

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