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Wednesday, September 22, 2021


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

It is good to know

That in these troubled and confusing times

When old values are under attack,

When what we hold dear 

Is mocked and undermined

By those who have no respect

For the venerable ideals, 

The policies and practices,

Of American democracy

That have stood this nation in good stead

Through trial and tribulation,

Through unrest and upheaval,

Through multiple wars

And challenges to our hegemony,

It is good to know 

That those finely-crafted

Highly developed techniques

Of civil and social discipline

As American as, oh, 

Genocide, slavery, lynching,

Suppression of dissent,

That those undeniably effective,


And invaluable means

Of exercising our rightful authority

Are still in use at our southern border

Where inconsiderate people 

Eager to avail themselves of the advantages

Of this God-favored land

Are being whipped and beaten

To teach them a lesson

About the distribution of privilege

In our world,

About who are the deserving 

And who the undeserving,

About how we deal with those

Seeking to take advantage

Of our famous kindness

And get a free pass to enter

Our sweet land of liberty.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals.  His most recent book is At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Mortality, from Main Street Rag Publishers.  He podcasts poems on aging at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California.