Commentary Magazine


Until Later, Incandescent Bulb

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,

My den is all a cozy glow;

And snug before the fire I sit,

And wait to feel the old year go.

I dedicate to solemn thought

Amid my too-unthinking days,

This sober moment, sadly fraught

With much of blame, with little praise.


But why, I ask, am I so glum?

Then “hope and change” I do recall,

What we have done; what we’ve become,

As light shines on my gleaming wall.

I’m jealous of my cozy glow,

In incandescence am I wrapped.

But problems are about to grow,

To fluorescence we must adapt.


In th’enactment of a foolish law,

We foolishly did acquiesce.

The light we knew is now withdrawn,

And now our bulbs do us depress.

And so we to our doctors go,

In mournful glumness and poor eyes

Dispirited and feeling low,

In search of treatment for our sighs.


The docs agree: the bulb’s to blame;

“So change ‘em,” they forthwith suggest.

“Your mood, your eyesight you’ll reclaim,

And glumness fin’lly lay to rest.”

“Not covered!” shouts th’insurance biz.

“The bulbs just go to him who pays.

The price, though high, is what it is

To fix your sad and blue malaise.”


Emerges then a great divide

As some in yellow bathe and glow

While blue for others won’t subside

And madly does their grievance grow.

Will “change and hope” we come to hear,

Will a candidate thus declare?

It will to many him endear

Who rallies with the call, “Unfair!”


In office will he labor to

Restore the old as the new norm

And ending the regime of blue,

Replace it with a brightness warm.

My glass is filled, my pipe is lit

My den is all a cozy glow

And snug before the fire I sit,

And long to see the new year go.


(With thanks to the Bard of the Yukon.)