Saturday, June 30, 2018


what are you proud of?

the nights are
are a wasteland of vodka and wine
in the mornings i walk it off
i pass so many homes with flags
sometimes it feels like i’m drowning
i’ve never owned anything with the flag on it
well…that’s not true
the fourth of july after 9/11
my mother bought me a u.s.a t-shirt
that i never wore
and threw away two years later
when i found it while packing to move
on my soberer mornings
or maybe it’s the i-might-still-be-a-little-bit-drunk ones
i want to knock on some patriot’s door
and ask them what’s the deal?
i want to say, hey, fellow citizen
what exactly is it that you are proud of?
what am i not getting from america that you are?
i’m sure they’ll say something
about freedom or liberty
or some other hypocritical crap
that doesn’t sound at all like willful ignorance
or they’ll do something so totally american
like threaten me with a gun
and chase me off their manicured-by-mexicans lawn
i’m willing to bet most of the people with flags
are white and old
and think they made it in this country
out of sheer drive and determination
but that might just be my prejudice showing
in truth
sometimes i wish i could walk around here at night
plucking their flags from their little lawns
and putting them all into a pile
in the middle of the street
set them on fire
and then stroll home humming the national anthem
while they all come out of their pretty homes
screaming and yelling and trying to put out the fire
of course
that’s if i can even remember the words to that stupid song
at this point.

--John Grochalski

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