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Tuesday, July 04, 2006


by Jon Wesick

Where will you go now
that sanity’s hoarse voice is barely a whisper,
and the house that Reagan built crumbles
on its foundation of wishful thinking?
Take the gifts your nation gave you.
Sew a thought, a poem, or a book
in the lining of your coat
and join the diaspora of reason.

Leave your countrymen to their chosen fates.
Help them by sheltering language and meaning far away.
Flee the nation of black lung, monkey trials,
and thalidomide babies, where dime-store preachers’ rants
on the am dial drown out the screams from the torture chambers.
Flee the New Deal that became the same old deal.
Flee the eight-dollar-an-hour Wal-Mart American Dream.
Flee the crowded jails, the union busters,
pregnant teens draping hopes on rusty coat hangers,
and the wars declared to win popularity contests.

Before silver wings cut cumulus clouds
and sever your past, look down at what you’ve lost.
Weep for the smell of bacon and eggs on a crisp Colorado morning.
Weep for the cold steel wind off Lake Michigan,
for backyard barbecues, corn on the cob,
and lightning bugs on a warm summer night.
Weep for tree houses and tire swings.
Weep for drive-in movies and first cars with wide back seats.
Weep for ruby-throated hummingbirds
and fresh tortillas on an Austin night.
Weep for veterans sipping Orange Crush,
their uniforms threaded with needlepoints of shrapnel.
America has wasted so much.

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, Limestone Circle, The Magee Park Anthology, The Publication, Pudding, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Slipstream, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. His chapbooks have won honorable mentions twice in the San Diego Book Awards.