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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Big Lie

when I first started my education
the morning began
with the pledge
the indoctrination of the young
when all is fresh
and christmas is still believable
just so the words
that later begin to take on a dull chill
giving myself to a piece of cloth
covered in three colors
that flood the sky
and the walls of gymnasiums
hanging in classrooms
from the form of government
that has surrounded my daily life
since I began to see and breathe
cloth that rips and tears in high winds
cloth I'm suppose to worship
as if it were the promises it can't fulfill

we stand claiming we are united
believing in an invisible being
who overlooks our classrooms
to give us stars for spelling
and smiles when we've raised our hands
to say something that correctly follows
the question we've been posed
then the promises end our little speeches
when we know we're all the same
expecting everything from this static symbol
two words that lie each time we say them
liberty and justice
liberty and justice
liberty and justice
when awaking 55 years from the first time
the words were asked to be repeated
in Miss Knutson's kindergarten
when asked to believe in a lie
and we are no different
from the one
who grows up proud of his uniform
playing his drum
and thinking others are less than he is
that he is superior
that we are superior
for all
above all
who are neglected
who stand next to me
in their first day's dress
or starchy jeans
proud mothers and fathers
who bought this lie and pass it on
to their children just as they were passed it
a sagging pigskin
that has lost all its air
that won't make it to the 30 yard line
when kicked from the 20
a red, white and blue
gasbag of a nation
sagging at the front of my classroom
with little lungs trying to fill it
like the holey sail
on a sinking stick
we play with after rain during recess
oh, these colors don't run
except from the words
unsure children are expected
to repeat repeat repeat
in an endless mantra of of illusion
that forgets
some of these little voices

won't be allowed
won't share
won't have

its last six words
to eat today
in the meal of promises
it exacts from their innocence

Copyright © 2012 by Barry G. Wick

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