The Man Who Stopped Clapping

The man who stopped clapping was sent off to jail,

Or maybe Siberia, Gulag or Hell.

To Uncle Joe Stalin, the message was clear:

The clappers all clapped out of clap-ending fear.

The clappers, you see, were the men who just knew

That clapping was needed, was something to prove:

To show Uncle Joe that the loved him: They did!

And so they all stood and they clapped like a kid.

They say that the clapping just went on and on.

They say that the clapper’s hands clapped until numb.

They say that the man who stopped clapping grew tired

They say that the man was disloyal, a liar.

So what by my wondering eyes do I see,

But visions of new clappers clapping with glee.

Clapping at insults, at slights and at threats,

Clapping at vengefully vengeful vignettes.

Clapping to prove to their emperor’s eye

That each of the clappers would clap till they died

While carefully covering up what they knew:

That each clap they clapped would conceal what was true.

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