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Wednesday, June 03, 2020


by James Bettendorf 

There is a sound in Minneapolis
Like the tearing of heavy cloth
Where laws favor groups, that oppress
Others to their knees, that rip
Opportunities from small hands,
That flatten hopes, crush
Dreams under their heels
Red tipped white canes are broken
Pieces thrown in the gutter

There is a sound in Minnesota
Like the tearing of heavy cloth
Where angry men and women are bent
Their backs used as stepping stones
Feeling powerless in the face of money
Neighbors denied rights
Darkness isn’t dispelled
By the light of reason

There is a sound in America
Like the tearing of heavy cloth
Eyes of honest people
Covered with blindfolds
Made from the flag
Tower babbling deafens
Knees and backs
Bent by heavy wooden crosses
And more coal is shoveled
Into the furnaces of the wealthy

There is a sound in the world
Like the tearing of heavy cloth

James Bettendorf taught math for 34 years at various levels and in his retirement begin writing classes at the Loft in Minneapolis, MN.  He was accepted for a two year poetry internship in the Loft Master Track program in 2006 and has been working on a manuscript with his mentor/advisor, Thomas R. Smith.  He has had poems published in TheNewVerse.News. Rockhurst Review, Light Quarterly, Ottertail Review, Talking Stick Vols. 18 - 23, and Free Verse.