Here is a poem by Jean Emerson.


When the willows glitter with autumnal gold
And sugar maples become crimson torches
A small picture emerges in the corner of my mind

A drab green phone company truck always parked
Beside my college’s Inflatable Dream
A canvas tent attached to a utility pole

I smile at conspiracy theories
I do not believe
Rumors of FBI surveillance

I make jokes about that tell-tale clicking
On my phone line and I commiserate with
Pretend agents trapped in a DC basement

Obliged to monitor my teenage daughter’s
boy friend’s phone calls.
All those hours of sighs and silences

The advent of  Freedom of Information
Nixon’s surveillance list
Names everyone who attended my school

When willows gleam yellow
And maples shimmer their orange leaves
I long for the comfort of lack of information