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Saturday, January 30, 2016


by Steve Abbott

The answer, of course, is simple:
They are not like Us, Our heritage
and faith and flag. Not like Us, who
understand the real danger, the loss
of rightful place, above Them with
their odd odors and leather skins,
over there. And now here, among Us,
pretending They are like Us. Once
They feared Our strength, but now
We hesitate to do what must be done.
We need to do something now, to
show Them who’s in charge. We’ll
do to Them what We know They’ll do
to Us. No one knows what ’s going on.
We can’t live like this. They weave
dark webs in lives full of secrets,
hide Their evil in unfamiliar accents.
There are traitors among Us who are
helping Them, Those who want
to take what we have. The beards
of Their sons conceal explosive wire.
They’re hiding something in Their
worn suitcases, in blankets Their kids
carry. They’re stealing Your jobs,
Your kid’s future. They are waiting
for Their chance. Soon They’ll destroy
everything. Your leaders have betrayed
You, locking Your dreams in the banks
of Their friends. I’m saying what You’re
thinking, and We’re not afraid to act.
We have the weapons we need.
We can stop Them. We can be great
again. We know what We have to do.

Steve Abbott’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Connecticut Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Rattle, Evening Street Review, Plainsongs, Pudding, Wind, and Big Scream, among other journals. He edited the anthologies Cap City Poets (Pudding House, 2008) and Everything Stops and Listens (Ohio Poetry Association, 2013), and he edits Ohio Poetry Association’s annual member journal Common Threads. Night Ballet Press will publish his third chapbook The Incoherent Pull of Want later this year.  A collection of ekphrastic poems titled When the Image Speaks is seeking a publisher. He is a founder and co-coordinator of The Poetry Forum, one of the Midwest’s longest-running weekly poetry series in Columbus, where he lives with his wife Melanie Boyd.