Tragedies

The man’s Swedish immigrant
grandfather was a foreman in an
East Chicago, Indiana steel mill

in 1918 when the soldiers, infected
with the Spanish flu, started coming
back from Europe. The man’s grand-

father caught it and his blood boiled
like the liquid steel in the blast
furnaces of his plant. The man’s father

became an orphan at age thirteen
when the man’s Swedish immigrant
grandfather died from the pandemic.

That unfortunate family history
came to mind as the man’s own
blood boiled just thinking about

the political dysfunction boiling
over and spreading throughout
the country just like boiling

liquid steel pouring out of the
man’s Swedish immigrant grand-
father’s East Chicago, Indiana

steel mill blast furnaces. One,
a personal, family tragedy haunt-
ing the man through the years.

The other, a national tragedy
burning through the fragile fabric
of democracy.

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