Illustration © Eric N. Peterson


Golem Emet

On June 16, 2015
America birthed its
Golem emet,
when on an escalator
he descended,
announcing his bid
to be its president.

Did America know,
in that moment,
what evil it unleashed?

Golem emet hated
The Righteous Ones. He spat
upon their virtues—
Hard work.

Golem emet fumed
and pouted,
seeking devotion and adoration.
His followers—sheep—
Anointed him.

One by one,
Golem emet destroyed
The Righteous Ones—
most, from his own generation—
who had suffered and fought
Unjust wars and Inequality;
Conquered their own
Human Frailties
to bring Truth, Justice, and Freedom
to their land.
From their deathbeds
they called him out.
They forbade him
from their funerals.

Still, he gloated.
Still, he pouted and fumed.

As a great sickness descended
on the people and the land,
he exclaimed,

“I alone can fix it.”

“But I am not responsible.”

Millions contracted the sickness.
Hundreds of thousands died.

On Rosh Hoshana,
the most beloved Saint for Justice
died from cancer.
Thousands paid homage to her
on the steps of the House of Justice.

Thousands more wept and gnarled
their fingers to the bone,
crying, “Who can save us, now?”

Others saw the Sign of Hope:
The Day of Her Passing
a double blessing,
For she was anointed
A Righteous One of God.

The gauntlet is now in our hands:

Make the Golem emet
A Golem met,
once more.

On November 3, 2020,
Vote him out.

Make the Golem met
No more.


Jackie Oldham is a writer from Baltimore, Maryland, focused on poetry, essays, and short stories. She has read her poems on the Quintessential Listening: Poetry podcast (2019 and 2020) and the Black Poets Matter series, presented by Mad Mouth Poetry (available on Facebook). Her first short story, “Age-isms,” was published in midnight & indigo, an online and print literary journal featuring Black Women writers. She is retired from a career as a production copy editor and trainer for Waverly Press (now owned by Dartmouth Press) that specializes in printing and publishing scientific and medical journals and books.

Eric N. Peterson is from Atlanta, Ga. He’s been drawing cartoons all his life. He leans towards the absurd, imaginative, and the surreal, as that’s where all the flavor is.