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COURTESY

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By Cathleen Calbert

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The Montréal Review, October 2018

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Must one be civil to evil?
Shake the devil’s old horny hand?
Shouldn’t we fight good’s upheaval?
Can’t we finally take a stand?

Shake the devil’s old horny hand!
Friend, this bargain will haunt your days . . . 
“Can’t we finally take a stand?” 
you’ll ask when our world is ablaze.

Friend, this bargain will haunt your days.  
“Is The Handmaid’s Tale coming true?”
you’ll ask when our world is ablaze.
That’s why I have a question for you:  

is The Handmaid’s Tale coming true?
(Shouldn’t we fight good’s upheaval?)
That’s why I have a question for you:  
must one be civil to evil?

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Cathleen Calbert’s writing has appeared in many publications, including Ms. Magazine, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Paris Review. She is the author of four books of poetry: Lessons in Space, Bad JudgmentSleeping with a Famous Poet, and The Afflicted Girls. Her awards include The Nation Discovery Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Sheila Motton Book Prize, the Vernice Quebodeaux Poetry Prize for Women, and the Mary Tucker Thorp Award.

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