Blessing the Bankers

On February 27, 2009, I got up before dawn, as I often did, to write a poem. However, this time I knew that later that same day I would be conveying the news of layoffs to nearly forty percent of my IT department — people I had worked alongside for years, had come to admire, and whose families I knew. It all stemmed from the financial crisis. And so my greatest temptation, in the face of finding myself in the middle of such a difficult moment, was to hate those who had precipitated this painful event.

But a vitriolic rant was not the poem that came out. Although I mentioned this experience in my commencement speech at my MFA graduation later that year, I did not read the poem. In the groundswell of Occupy movements, stretching from Wall Street to my own alma mater, now somehow seemed like an appropriate time to share this piece. It came out of my own private protest, years ago, in the hours before sunrise.
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