The Old Bondage of Newport by Win Bassett

The Old Bondage of Newport by Win Bassett

The school inaugurated its twenty-third president
at two in the afternoon—
an occasion we’ve heard about
for weeks.

Tweet this hashtag.
Tag that instagram handle.
Win a lunch with the new president at a mutually agreed upon date.
My roommate returns with an invitation.
Looks like a Visa Black Card, huh?

The Reverend Ezra Stiles might have hired more slaves
instead of paying for brunch and bluegrass in the Commons.
But who do you think poured orange juice and plated eggs today?

White guilt doesn’t keep me away. These words do.
But fear of missing out wraps me, like Lost’s smoke Monster,
and carries me downtown.

At dusk I run up Hillhouse, once Twain’s and Dickens’ beautiful street.
The workers shine under lights.

They wash the sidewalks and pick up the trash
to resurrect the beauty and bounty
still chained to a block not far from the Reverend’s College.

________________________________

Originally published at Yale Daily News.

Copyright © 2014 by Win Bassett

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