We used to be a beacon,
A light aloft and shining.
I believed us an example
Of what could someday be.

I shake my head in wonder,
Eyes closed against the feeling.
I feel my head hang lower
At each new grim reveal.

Words flow with sheer impunity.
Young lives treated too lightly.
Now we don’t slip and stumble;
It’s a full-on backward slide.

We used to be a beacon,
But my confidence is waning.
I believed we were the heroes,
but for now, please, look away.

© L. Rose