Goodbye, 2020!
Good riddance, farewell!
You've maxed out our patience
You've put us through hell.

The year of the virus!
The year of the mask!
Be gone, 2020!
That's all that we ask.


It started half hopeful —
A normal new year —
Despite the impeachment
of Trump, our King Lear.

"Obstruction of Congress!"
The Democrats cried
"Abuse of his power!
Our president lied!"

But Trump was acquitted —
Mitch wrangled the vote —
And when the plague surfaced
We barely took note.

A virus in China?
That's so far away!
It wasn't our problem
But then came a day …

A day in mid-March
When Tom Hanks said, "I'm sick"
The NBA canceled
And life collapsed quick.

"Pandemic," they called it
We'd live with that word
Along with so many
We rarely had heard.

Like "aerosols," "lockdown"
And "COVID-19"
Like "shelter-in-place"
And the dread "quarantine."

Restaurants shuttered
The taverns were locked
The hospitals teemed
And the loss left us shocked.

Each hug was a danger
Each handshake a threat
Each time we went out
We played virus roulette.

We learned how to distance —
Yo, 6 feet apart!
To wash our hands often
To wipe down a cart.

We lived in our bubbles
We hoarded TP
We went to no concerts
But binged on TV.

Corona engulfed us
Like permanent weather
We sought to stay separate
While also together.

We sanitized parcels
And often were grouchy
But all except rebels
Said, "Thank God for Fauci."

The good doctor schooled us
In hope and in science
He taught us precautions
Despite Trump's defiance.

The president dithered —
"Don't worry!" he said,
"We'll open by Easter!"
We counted the dead.

We fought off despair
And battled our gloom
We schooled kids at home
And held funerals on Zoom.

Health care providers
Were heroes we praised
They worked to exhaustion
For days upon days.

We waited in lines
To get tests, to get food.
And this was not all
That would darken our mood.


So much had been lost
So much was destroyed
And then came a killing —
His name was George Floyd.

A cop pinned him down
And he struggled for breath
A movement exploded
Because of his death.

In cities and suburbs
Folks took to the street
They cried, "Black lives matter!"
They marched in the heat.

The young and the old —
They were Black, brown and white —
They knew it was time
To stand up for this fight.


A hot season ticked on
Full of civil unrest
While ravaging wildfires
Ignited the West.

The president sputtered,
"This chaos must stop!"
He posed with a Bible —
Hey, look! Photo op!

He tweeted "ANTIFA!"
He spread his fake news
He goaded his fan base
To share his dark views.

He said he'd send soldiers —
They might have to shoot! —
Dear Lord, how we wished
We could put him on mute.

The country was burning
A nation in flames
At least, sighed the ball fans,
We get to watch games.

And while we trudged onward
Some heroes expired
Among them John Lewis
Who left us inspired.

We lost Kobe Bryant,
We lost Justice Ruth
Who gave us the strength
To keep fighting for truth.


While small business suffered
The stock market soared
While millions went jobless
The megarich scored.

The virus kept surging
And so did our dread
While those in the White House
Abetted the spread.

The president caught it:
Oh, would he survive?
He got special treatment
And stayed quite alive.

He held his great rallies
(Well, not all that great)
He said he'd beat Biden
In most every state!

But then came November
The voters said: No!
We're done with you, Donald
We're voting for Joe.

Trump pouted and lied
And he threatened a coup
But then Mitch McConnell
Conceded: He's through.

And now

We called the year awful,
Chaotic and strange
And yet on the bright side
We learned how to change.

We saw life more clearly
For better and worse
We saw our divisions
And how they're a curse.

Divisions of justice
Divisions of wealth
Divisions of who
Gets a chance at good health.

We learned about courage
Learned better to share
We learned that it's time
For some major repair.

Though Facebook still stalks us
And spies on our tracks
Though misinformation
Is still spread by hacks

Democracy made it!
And though it feels frail
Let's pause for a moment
To share an exhale.

A new year is coming
It won't all be fun
But let's raise a toast
To the year '21!