Sunday, June 18, 2017


Hymn to the Greatest

I pulled into the goodwill
the one near the college
the one near the wal-mart
the one across the highway from a convenience store
the one down the highway from two more convenience stores
the one overlooking the nuclear power plant
the one right where the incline to the highlands starts

the car cd player is broken
scan the dial on the radio
I rest on the right wing nut
                the guy filling in for Savage
                the guy whose anti Muslim rhetoric is nauseating
                the guy that says America is the greatest country in the world

I wonder momentarily about the greatest country in the world
was there a vote, a quorum, did a group of countries
get together and sing He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
then give us a wrist watch for our service
talk about how they want to be great countries too

we should probably be suspicious
of anyone American who says
this is the greatest country
it isn’t, I don’t know off my head
that I would hand that award out to any country

a country is as good as the people it contains
it is a reflection of the attitudes of those people
it is also wholly imaginary and man made
like time, like god, like boundaries, like dreams

to ballyhoo is propaganda
it obfuscates the real conversation
the fact that to question, to challenge
the normalcy of any government
is patriotism, its required
for any country to be the
proper reflection of its people

to say you’re the greatest
without proof, without basis
is to be a child

god forbid
we are a nation
of children

--Jason Baldinger

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