Ode to the Republic

Aug 28, 2017


It burst from people's mouths


polluting the air

with words that would

roam the earth forever

It ran amuck in the forest

consorted with poisonous plants

twisted vines into nightmares

trampled the flowers

that bent to the sun

It seeped from the sewers

swam past debris

rank with its own stench

It knew it's time would come

always primed

to harvest the hate

that lay dormant

in people's hearts

The “mask of civility”

many folks wore

was just that

a tattered facade

fraying, day by day

Not surprisingly

some people embraced it

welcomed it

at long last they were free

no need to pretend anymore

Hate was in,

as popular as

snow cones

and cold beers

in the summer heat

Hate was respectable

a contributing member to society

socially acceptable

as normal as white bread

It flew from the pulpits

spoke out at PTA meetings

was available at bake sales

as American as apple pie

Politicians danced around it

with carefully chosen words

and ignorant comments and tweets

“Let's repeal the 19th amendment”

“Let's ban all Arabs”

“Let's keep Jews in their place”

“Let's flood us prisons”

with young Black men”

“Let's deport all Mexicans”

“Let's stigmatize

those bleeding heart liberals

who always get in our way”

“Let’s take back the rainbow”

that shelters gays

and transgenders

They are using too much of it

But, somewhere

a  persistent voice resonated,

"Hate cannot drive out hate.

Only love can do that.”*

I wish I could still believe that.

*      the Reverend Martin Luther King

   June 2016, revised August 2017