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The Old Bondage of Newport

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.

Posted 09/05/14
Previously published in Yale Daily News Magazine, April 25, 2014. YDN Magazine is available in print and online at http://yaledailynews.com/magazine/.
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