Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Protest Poem (for Rainer Maria Rilke and Wallace Stevens)

This poem could be about Bill Clinton
and his signing the Defense of Marriage Act,
or how he could have harmed this country
had he ever passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about  George W. Bush
and the wars he started and the civil rights destroyed
or how he harmed this country
with regulations leading to collapse.

This poem could be about Barack Obama
and the recession he made worse
or how he has harmed his country
since he passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about the far Right
and the bombing of the building in Oklahoma City,
or the terror acts of Eric Rudoplph
or the racist terrorism perpetrated on black churches in the South.

This poem could be about the far Left
and the good men killed by Ted Kaczynsky,
or the attempts on researchers' lives by the Animal Liberation Front
or the 70s terrorists silently assimilated into our society.

This poem could be about guns --
How our children shoot up schools,
How our police shoot minorities in their neighborhoods,
How the Second Amendment is not for deer but for politicians.

This poem could be about legislation
Creating most unfairness and inequality,
And I could tell you to throw rocks at cops
Whose rubber bullets will run out very soon.

This poem could be about wars and famines,
Taxes and subsidies and other violations
Of our basic human rights, even those
We never considered violations

This poem could be about any one
Of these external things, such things
As pass away one day, but sometimes only
Once things get worse, but it is not.
Instead, this poem is about important things --
The changes that we've made,
The changes that we ought to make
Inside ourselves, the way that we evolve.

This poem is about the way that you and I
Must learn to change, must learn to grow,
Mature, become who we most truly are, with pride.
Then, when we are better, the world will be repaired.

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