poem 3

3. Threnody
There is a small container that I’m carrying around
That only holds as much as I can swallow,
And lately it occurs to me that we, the people, are not free,
Or maybe we’re too tired not to follow
The water draining down
The truffle on a string,
The jingoistic cattle prod,
That forces us to sing,
That wretched threnody,
To a long forgotten dream,
That comforts the naive,
No choice but to believe

They keep on teaching children things that never really happened,
As if to say the truth would be a burden,
The lies calcify, like a tumor in the eye,
And history can’t even get a word in,
As if George Washington
Chopped down a cherry tree
Such a shaky ground on which to
Build democracy,
Columbus gets a holiday,
For chopping at the wrist,
As if God is merciful,
But there’s no mercy in a fist.

They keep on pumping pathos into bodies that don’t move,
The children of our children bus the tables,
Calumniating spirits whisper Plutocratic oaths,
Encouraging the poor to don their labels,
We lit the brothers up,
We shot the brothers down,
We gave the brothers medicine,
And helped the brothers drown,
We brought the brothers here,
And then we drove away,
They took our insolence and so,
We took their MLK,
Our tepid tributes now define,
That gruesome recherché,
This comforts the naive,
No choice but to believe.


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