VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jack Henry

insurrection 

i watch television 

interviews with bandits 

bent on destroying the last 

vestige of democracy under 

the guise of saving democracy 

saving amerika, make amerika 

great again 

i watch neighbors, brothers, 

sisters, people from the grocery 

stores and pharmacy, from 

diners on Main Street, 

gas stations and repair shops,  

from high white 

towers of corporate indifference 

to the shallow graves of those 

recently departed, i watch  

them rise up in a delusion 

empowered by the defiant, 

incited by the defeated. 

all i feel is rage  

as i watch the television,  

as amerika falls to its knees,  

as the sword of fascism begins to fall. 

i think of 1923 germany, the first coup 

of a madman but not the last, 

a fuse lit that our desperate lips 

cannot blow out. 

i think of Kristallnacht, 

and stalin, mao, and pol pot. 

death to democracy, death 

to amerika, 

and i never thought the first 

shot would come from 

neighbors, brothers, sisters, 

all the people around me, 

near me. 

they say this is to save amerika, 

to save democracy, 

similar songs of freedom 

rang out in confederacy in 

the 1850s. acts of sedition then 

and now. 

and over these last few months, 

last few years, no one dare 

dream that civil war would 

return to amerika. 

but will anyone notice, will anyone 

tear away from social media, mental 

masturbation, the ongoing stupefaction 

of under educated masses? 

i am not elite 

i am not better than you 

i am not smarter 

i am not anything more 

than a simple man tired 

of vilification for simple 

beliefs. 

i will no longer stand down 

and wait for the halls of freedom 

to be painted red. 

i’m here, i’m ready. 

come get some

conflict 

and a preacher stands outside 

the backdoor of his parish church 

screaming at God without a thought 

to passersby and the juxtaposition 

actions may represent, questioning faith writ large

blood

if the fascist stooges that trampled 

the Capitol lawn and the gilded halls  

of pain and glory had been any other color 

than white, the steps of freedom would run red 

and bodies would stack up to the second floor. 

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