When The Idiots Came
by Linda Ceriello

September 1, 2009

When the idiots came
we congratulated ourselves

We knew they would, and
The time had arrived, so we acted very significant

When the idiots came
we wiped our mouths and
pushed back our chairs
with contrived haste and startle

pretending they had interrupted important things

When they came, we saw but didn't hear
(we were quite sure
before they opened their mouths
of what they would say

though no one recalls if they did actually say)

When the idiots came
we placated them,
handed them juice boxes, and other
symbols of our magnificence

We recommended schooling,
told them we could get them a deal,
with vague, nervous gestures 
of annihilation

When the idiots came, it occurred:
we could have embraced them
by now, as old friends
We could have folded them into us
but instead

We ran in circles, we locked doors,
we gathered in haughty groups
bad-mouthing, shouting our nos and nevers
in all known languages

We thought someone deserved our exhuberently foisted,
carefully conceived and codified obliviate

but us

Later generations acted surprised

Then, after careful consideration,
loudly labeling us "The Idiots,"
they began to write the new code
...which was also an ode:

Ode to the idiots who came
when we sent for them,
so that we could act surprised

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