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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

OF THEE I . . .

by George Held

The middle of a street blows up near Grand Central;
People think “terrorism” and run for their lives.

A bridge over the Mississippi lies crumpled
As though a terrorist bomb had detonated mid-span.

Hospital beds in New Orleans remain scarce as doctors
As The War on Terror drains needed federal funds.

America crumbles while in Washington the real terrorists
Are called “Senator,” “The Honorable,” “Mr. President.”

They sleep in white houses and sit in the Capitol,
Defending the rich from taxes and corporations

From accountability and themselves against the will
Of the people, the “We the People” who once declared

“a more perfect union,” now reduced to complainers—
bloggers, writers of letters to the editor, petition-signers.

When the President declares martial law on the eve
Of the 2008 elections and states that he does this

In order to protect the “homeland” from terror, will the people
Know where the real terrorists lie and rise up, will the military

Help defend them against the putsch, or will the 230-year
Experiment in republican government—never a democracy—

Blow up like that street in Manhattan , crumble like that bridge
In the Twin Cities, strain under the old, old yoke of tyranny?

George Held has previously contributed to
The New Verse News. His new collection of poems, The Art of Writing and Others, is available at