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Thursday, July 30, 2009


by J. D. Mackenzie

Skip, an exceptional student
remembers the walls of his junior high
filled with images of inspiration
glossy photos of the Mercury program
and President Kennedy

The party line throughout his youth:
we live in a world without limits
caused him to wonder why that line
was sometimes dotted
sometimes jagged?

Codes to break
hoops to jump through
barriers wanting linguistic gymnastics
at high school, Yale, Cornell, Harvard
the world without limits still had plenty

But once in a while
meritocracies actually deliver
allowing for a colonial in Cambridge
a grateful audience for his great books
recognition in Time

So just how does a revered scholar
in the land of the free
in a “post-racial” society
get arrested for breaking in
to his own home?

And if you only stop
to consider the possibility
of this ever happening to you
what does that say
about each of us?

J. D. Mackenzie has written poetry and prose for Rogue River Echoes, the Moment, the Eugene Weekly and several other publications. He lives in western Oregon and spends his free time on rivers.