Sunday, July 23, 2017



they have us
standing behind barricades
in midtown manhattan
right on the one side
and wrong on the other
the tourists are having a field day taking pictures
when not snapping photos
of themselves standing
in front of the president’s gaudy skyscraper
posting them to facebook
and instagram
for the folks back home below the mason/dixon
on the wrong side
they are angrily waving their american flags
their cop flags
wearing their make america great again hats
holding signs saying ban the muslims
ones that say, build that wall
of course they are chanting
one blonde barbie-doll is clapping
and jumping as if she were watching the NFL
with the exception of one misdirected black man
they are all white and tired
with little dignity left
and nothing to cling to in this world but nationalism
and ancient, racist rhetoric
yet somehow the country is still theirs
on the right side we are trying to drown them out
with chants
against fascism
against capitalism
against the patriarchy
against abject hate
against that american colossus white supremacy
holding signs and marching to drumbeats
it’s 2017 and we are literally reminding each other
that muslims are people
that women are people
that black people are people
that gays and lesbians and transgendered people….are people
how dumb men in cheap suits
professional liars
who couldn’t tell you where the clitoris is located
are making laws governing women’s bodies
down in washington d.c.
and it feels good to be around these chanting folks
it’s easy to feel so alone these days
isolated and insecure
it’s refreshing
it feels almost comforting
to scream out loud into the humid manhattan sky
if you don’t stop and think
that america is constantly reinventing the wheel
a nation full of barricades and bullshit
so willing to hit the reset button on progress
at least once a generation
how that bile is always lurking below the surface
red hats and red faces
fist pumping jingoists en masse 
fear and ignorance and hatred on display like pride
a man with a fat ass riding his bike
back and forth across our barricade
making the “loser” sign with his fingers
calling us commies
telling us  my country love it or leave
how we should all be locked up
as if it were that easy
as if that were all that they needed for salvation
their hatred to reign supreme
another wall
another barricade

--John Grochalski


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