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?

How can
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
American sentiment
Stirred by the belief
that all other ideas are

To notice, to think, to speak the truth
The complexity
                                                                                     It’s unAmerican to notice the problems
It’s unAmerican to pretend they’re not there
                                                                                                                Unanimously dissenting

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