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Monday, January 18, 2021


by Jean L. Kreiling

Just down the street, outside a neighbor’s door, 
it reaches up and out, as if for hope 
or heaven, in an effort to restore 
its honor and resist the downward slope 
traversed by those who lied, who followed liars, 
who beat a man with those same stripes and stars, 
who lit and fanned and spread murderous fires 
that left some dead, the rest of us with scars. 
I see Old Glory fluttering in the breeze— 
but elsewhere, desecrated by a gang 
of thugs, it symbolized not liberties 
and laws, but rage, and justice by flash-bang. 
I miss the days when I was confident 
about what flags by neighbors’ front doors meant. 

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of two collections of poetry: Arts & Letters & Love (2018) and The Truth in Dissonance (2014).  Her work has been honored with the Able Muse Write Prize, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Prize, the Kelsay Books Metrical Poetry Prize, a Laureates’ Prize in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, three New England Poetry Club prizes, the Plymouth Poetry Contest prize, and the String Poet Prize.