America The Brave
What happened to America the brave
where ordinary people lived so well?
Who traded citizenship to be a slave?
Who chose to be a denizen of hell?
We used to be in unions, and we'd fight
for safety, shorter hours, and higher pay.
But now we cringe alone against the might
of those who shipped our good jobs far away.
The bosses once again own all the cops,
the well-trained veterans of foreign wars,
while we buy imports cheap from big box shops
and soon will owe our souls to company stores.
It's fear that they still manufacture here,
more fear than cause to fear, and it pollutes
our minds as they pollute the atmosphere:
thick with fear of wealthy men in suits.
We vote for those who're poisoning our rivers
and earth and air, and make the planet hotter,
but fearing for our jobs, with icky shivers,
we drink not just the kool-aid but the water.
Research and understanding things is hard -
we ought to want the facts but we just don't.
Instead we hold mere wealth in great regard
and fall back on our cant, as is our wont.
We're working to more normalized
relations to get back to trade,
and maybe get it formalized
with embassies and mutual aid.
It's tough to overlook the past --
the torture and the unarmed dead
the zealots stole from, and harrassed,
and finally killed for pay instead.
But after fifty years apart
forgiveness, with its softer voice,
has led them to a brand-new start,
and Cuba made a noble choice.
At one a.m. it's reassuring
that SWAT is here and they're securing
perimeters and crime scenes during
since citizens are enemies,
they bring HUMVees and APCs
to bring a drunkard to his knees
in plastic hobbles.
Entranced by military gear
they view the streets as their frontier,
enjoying inculcating fear
in all dimensions.
Armored like the knights of old
they do whatever they are told
by people who've already sold
away their pensions.
They think they are the guarantor
of order who can always score
with any weapon on the poor
in whom they've shot holes,
they need enormous wheels that shred
the streets and spend the budget red
for army vehicles instead
of fixing potholes.
Good news! Those potholes will not keep
the treaded tank or big-wheeled jeep
from jerking you up out of sleep
some early morning.
These fearful schoolyard bullies see
the world in black and white, and we
must vote them out, or this will be
our only warning.