The Senate vote was unanimous!
Unheard of, a miracle?
Or another excuse to take a day off of culpability —
Dressed in celebration, wrapped in a pretty bow.
Another flag planted in the soil of self-righteousness
To claim pride in expanding freedoms
As we still stuff so many dark lives into cages, into graves
Then scoff at the audacity, hope to curtail
freedom to pray, to fight for our country
It’s the wrong time and place if it’s on a sporting field
And some try to quell critical thinking that maybe
More richness, more complexity,
more humanity and inhumanity,
more struggle, sadness and shame
Colors the history and the present of
A beloved nation
estranged from her freedoms.
Sometimes picky about which children she’ll embrace.
Alternately sheltering and suffocating in her hugs
the huddled masses yearning to breathe free
Our vote to cheer for freedom and fairness?
Our willingness to dig in the shit
to plant and nurture those ideals?
Well, that’s a bit too stinky to stand together on.
And it’s not just skin-deep.
Proud to be an American
Pride month in every city and town
Companies joining in with their “pride”
Or maybe just proud to take advantage
To advertise and play opposite sides
Rather than to take a stand
Against making people fear
What’s in their pants, in their minds,
An inquisition, a rape in the name of
“Protecting women and girls”
While making a punchline of their pain
Discounting some as irresponsible, drunken whores
While dismissing as harmless the actions
Of an often pasty club of responsible drunken whores
Whose members stand upright
Protecting unborn babies from death
Careless of their lives once they’re able
To cry out for help,
for freedom, for justice
For no more trauma in active shooter drills
Why not abolish active shooters instead?
Is that done with more laws to control the lawful
Or maybe Rambo waiting at the school door?
care and safety for our country
Take on so many disparate forms,
Fuel so many vicious arguments,
Be unanimously un-unanimous
So animous – hot, resolute,
A simmering volcano of
Stirred by the belief
that all other ideas are
To notice, to think, to speak the truth
It’s unAmerican to notice the problems
It’s unAmerican to pretend they’re not there
May it bring us more toward balance
And toward a shared hope
A vote for the best this country has to offer
That could even sometimes be