Welcome to America! The land
Of the free. The land
Of individuals. The land made strong by Civil
Individualism! And, most strikingly, The land
that is collapsing
— being allowed to collapse —
(In emulation of
So many evolutionary trajectories) In
serving these values.
Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:
As a clinical immunologist working on the front lines of healthcare, this man was exposed to the politics of pandemic mask-wearing every day. He noticed how highly valued individualism was in America. The country he had grown up in was much more collectivist. It was fascinating for him to trace the current defiant resistance to mask-wearing back to the concept of civil liberty that was entrenched in America’s constitution hundreds of years previously. Observing how other more collectivist countries had shut down the pandemic right away, while the United States floundered to unite, was incredibly frustrating.
Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Elle Klassen