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Monday, May 31, 2010


by George Held

On Memorial Day I always hear Kate Smith
Belting out God Bless America in my ear

O those mountains, prairies, and ocean capped with foam
Now polluted with smog, fouled water, and spilled oil

But God bless our troops as they suffer for you & me
& BP in some foreign locale we can’t find on the map

And God Bless our Congress, the best Big Oil
And Big Finance and Big Agribusiness can buy

And God Bless Sarah P. and Newt G. and all the Tea
Partiers and NRA members and Pro-Lifers and golfers

Who strive to take our country back from the dark
Of skin, the Progressives, Free Thinkers, skeptics

Who love our Declaration and our Constitution
And admire this country as much as anyone

For its ever-changing promise and ever evolving
Mix of peoples and varied faiths and cockeyed ideas

And won’t let it become fixed in some ideologue’s dark mind,
A Father Coughlin or a Rush blowing in the wind,

And a century after Lady Liberty’s lamp first lighted
. . . la de da . . . . So let the Vets march and let the crowds

applaud and let taps be played and guns salute
our boys, our boys grown old, our flag, and even,

yes, old Kate as she belts out “God bless Amer-i-ca, my
Home sweet home!” Because I, too (sigh), love (sob, choke)

This fuckin’ country.

George Held has collected many of his New Verse News poems in The News Today.