Monday, June 20, 2016

the flags ...



the flags ...
the flags ripple in the northern wind
they twist and turn
furl and unfurl
flutter and fail
like the eagle's broken wings
raised to just half-mast
in a final salute
to you
the fallen
to you
the dead corpses
to you
the just-yesterday-alive-and-well
fathers and mothers
sons and daughters
brothers and sisters
shot in the leg
shot in the arm
shot in the groin
shot in the heart
gunned down
in the very midst of
the joyful dance of life
that so quickly became
the grim ballet of death
when a riddle of bullets
sent you flailing
for air and
grasping for life
in a nation
that promised
to protect you from
all harm
land of the free
home of the brave
where "In God We Trust"
has become a fool's alleigance
as the American Dream
becomes the waking nightmare
leaving the dead
lying beneath
the crossfire
of another god's fury

the flags ripple in the northern wind
a storm is coming
and the scurry of
hopelessness runs
wild through the streets
where a million million
anonymous souls
wait in the subways
wait in their churches
wait in office towers
wait in the concert halls
wait in the dance clubs
wait in the shopping malls
wait by day
wait by night
wait just around the corner
wait and wait
for the endless
clockwork of crisis
that knells
like church-top bells
wait for their time
their turn
to double over
in pain
wait to be caught
in a snare of bad luck
when simply being somewhere-anywhere goes wrong
when simply being sometime-anytime goes amiss
and hatred carves
the tortured
grimace of a lifeless
mask over their smiling faces

the flags ripple in the northern wind
they twist and turn
at half-mast
in a last salute
to you
the souls departed
who once looked into the future
and saw your children
reach with expectant hands
for the stars of hope
and now these stars tattoo
each flag fluttering in the wind
and offer only a sad homage to you
the fallen who could not expect
would not believe
that the next moment
of blind chance
would melt your bright eyes
into liquid rivulets
oozing outwards to sear
flesh from flesh
until your black bones
smear the streets
of golden promise
with the paste of
sinew and tendon
bile and blood
the cloak of death
the very testament of terror
that watches and waits for
the bullets
to fly once again
and then waits
again and again
again and again

 







 








 
 


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