Pat Davis

Pat Davis
Great Falls, Virginia,
February 25
I am a writer, activist, mother, and occasional blogger. My articles have appeared in The Nation, Hispanic, Counterpunch, and Foreign Policy in Focus, and my poems and translations have been published in Poet Lore, Smartish Pace, Tar River Poetry, New Laurel Review, Potomac Review, Salt Hill, Puerto del Sol, and Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology. My poetry chapbook, The Water that Broke You, was published by Finishing Line Press in March 2014. With torture survivor Sister Dianna Ortiz, I co-authored The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth (Orbis, 2002). For many years, I worked at the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA as communications director and eventually as interim executive director. "Alternative Methods," my first full-length play, deals with the ethical struggles a psychologist faces while working on an interrogation team in Iraq. It was produced in the Capital Fringe and the New York International Fringe festivals in 2010. (For more info, see My fifteen-minute play, "Cleared," was presented at the Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage festival in September 2013. My website is

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JANUARY 26, 2013 11:28PM

When Fascism Comes It Will Come with Two Children, A Dog

Rate: 14 Flag


by Patricia Davis

When fascism comes
it will come with two

children, a dog,
tell warm, personal stories,
call us Ladies and

Gentlemen, have a
catch in its throat.

When fascism comes
it will raid
the houses of sleeping

children, use stun
grenades, tasers.

When fascism comes
it will seize filmmakers’
work at the border. 

When fascism comes
it will study our e-mails. 

When fascism comes
the potential hostile
intent of a child

will be reason to call in
a drone strike. 

When fascism comes
there will be no lawyer,
no sentence, only

the bars, the dark. 
When fascism comes

it will jail exclusively
those who have
spoken the truth. 

When fascism comes
it will rise from the ash

of oppression.  On the wall
will hang the Nobel
Peace Prize.

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not bad. it's coming, not like an approaching apparition, but like weeds springing up in an untended garden.
Thanks so much for this wonderful poem.
Inspired perhaps by Sinclair Lewis' description of when fascism comes to America...? I especially like the first two stanzas when you juxtapose the superficially gentle visage of fascism to its actual nature.
With all the respect in the world, Pat...

... that may indeed be how “fascism” will come...if it ever comes. But whether fascism comes or not…there will always be a few people in a democracy who will be bemoaning the approaching storm.

For them, the sky is always falling.

We here in America have much more to fear from the people who constantly groan and moan than we do that fascism will intrude on our freedom. We are a people with more freedom of expression than any people who ever before have lived on this planet... and we complain about our situation beyond reason.

I respectfully suggest you fear the people always suggesting we are losing those rights more than the possibility that fascism will come to us.

Pat, if we were even close…you would never be able to publish that poem…and my guess is, you would be smart enough not to.
Wonderful work. Deserves a wider audience.
it will jail exclusively
those who have
spoken the truth.

The big money and its media is working on that one...hard. Many liberties already lost. Relevant and powerful piece. R
Read this article and then your post. Americans are equally split, it seems, between throwing around "Socialists" and "Fascists" when it comes to our government...
Very apt poem to describe contemporary American society. There are two very different definitions of "fascism," and both would seem to apply. Mussolini defined fascism as government run by and for the benefit of private corporations. John Strachey (who wrote the Coming Struggle for Power in 1933) defines it as a pseudo-populist movement in which the working class is fooled into voting for politicians who enact policies that worsen their financial interests and restrict their freedoms.
The world is up to its armpits in Fascism. It seeps in and swirls around us, almost in a loving and friendly fashion, like Mother's love. The jackboots and internment camps are tucked away under different names until needed.

No longer is Fascism openly touted by powerful madmen. It has learned to disguise itself as "freedom and democracy", "Mom and apple pie." It is no longer a known political party but has, rather, inserted itself into all political parties so as to skew their policies just a tiny bit at a time. We are nearing the time when we see the results of this; the time when the jackboots are heard in the streets and the wailing in the camps drifts out over the remains of what we thought was our civilization.


Thanks for reading and for your remarks. Yes, Dennis, it's a response to that Sinclair Lewis quote. Frank, I know we still have many freedoms, and it's true that if this were an entirely totalitarian society I wouldn't have posted the poem. We need to be aware of all the freedoms that have eroded in the past ten years, including some of our most basic ones (right not to be assassinated by order of your president, right to a fair trial, e.g.), and what the possible consequences are. Thanks, Algis, for the beautiful art! And Onilsandtime and Stuart Jeanne, the definitions (and article) on fascism are interesting. The direction the country is headed in, with the amount of corporate/state collaboration and control, and the blind nationalism and sense of superiority . . . .and the limits placed recently on very basic rights--we have to be vigilant but also we have to know how free we are now to work for change.
When fascism comes it will involve the unethical marketing to children starting as early as possible and attempts to take control of the schools so that they can teach corporate ideology.

The definitions that Dr. Bramhall provides do seem to be legitimate and applicable; however the one that I grew up with involves the racism that was dominated by Nazi fascism. there is still some of that in some segments of our political establishment but there are also a lot of politicians that have included many woman and minorities; this can be deceptive to many. A close look at the politicians that are now in power, white male or not, indicates a lot of common ground and that they have the same agenda to advance corporate interests while giving lip service to the rest of us.

This just shows that woman and minorities can also be fascists.
[r] thank you for being so blunt and brave in calling out the surreality of it all from the perpetrators shoving us down or simply coaxing us down with their lies and anti-humanism the slippery slope to fascism.

Or should i go with the boiled frogs motif? The incremental desensitization of us as a collective society as we endure and passively fail to challenge more and more anti-empathy collusions and anti-law injustices perpetrated successfully on others and on masses of us so large it is mind-boggling and outrageous nothing is being done by those still with awakened consciences.

Scott Peck's book, People of the Lie, says that EVIL is laziness to the nth degree. He writes a lot about the crazymaking of those so-called "normal-seeming" sociopaths who make balanced human beings struggle so with trying to wrap their minds and hearts around human beings who have lost their humanity and are so frighteningly disordered it is challenging to call them out. A Stepford world of evil faux-civility. Personality trumps character, and character matters!!!! And "cronyism", well, the other guy is okay without a conscience, so I am too, is an evil scenario that has caused awesome evil to desensitize and proliferate. Evil loves company and gets it.

best, libby
ps media is certainly a tool of fascism, a potent and insidious one, as Thoth points out, and Stuart talks about faux-populism. That is cruelest. What we do with other countries now, also, offer support for their "spring" for freedom when our government's motives are self-serving for it and especially its pimping and capturing corporations. The willingness to destroy others for profits is temporarily hidden before the BIG KILL of regime changre. They hide behind the colossal-ness of their evil. Hard to face down the scope of evil. Especially these days.

best, libby
James Penha, of New Verse News, published this poem first and found the photo.