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Thursday, July 19, 2012


by Alexis-Rueal

Let them keep the statue--
we need monuments.
But let this monument be honest;
too often we polish the frailty out of the bronze
or chip away the fault from the stone--
leave nothing but a noble shell of what once was.

But let this statue be honest;
let us ingrain the lessons of the fallen
at the feet of one who once stood so tall.

We will say he did great things--
led many into adulthood, made many better
than what they were before.

But he let the game write the rulebook
to his morality, let x's and o's instead
of do's and don't's blaze the path of
his legacy, let pain-filled cries of the few
be muffled by the shouts from admiring throngs.

He did many great things, but made sacrifices
that were not his to make in order to do so.

So let them keep the statue, let it stand tall;
but do not clean it.
We cannot truly know the man unless
we also know his damaged patina.

Alexis-Rueal is a Columbus, Ohio poet. Her work has appeared in All Things GirlRose and Thorn, and other online journals, as well as Vending Machine: Poetry for Change 2 and Buzzkill: Apocaplypse An End of the World Anthology. She was the first runner-up at the 2012 Columbus Arts Festival poetry competition. Her first chapbook, Letter to 20 will be published in early 2013 by The Poets Haven press. When not writing or performing poetry, she enjoys crocheting, shadowcasting movies, and playing with her Goldendoodle, Sam.