Let us no longer pretend
that love endures forever,
that everything always gets better,
that hard work always pays off,
that the dream can become reality
for everyone who dreams it,
that the negative –isms have died,
that all neighbors just want to hold hands,
that the system, though faulty, works
for the most part.
Lovers will leave you;
everything sometimes gets worse.
The dream can change to a nightmare
when the cruel –isms revive;
your neighbor might want to kill you.
The system’s a conspiracy
But still we must love,
still work to make the dream
possible; still train to slay
the dragons of –isms and schisms,
still try to befriend the neighbors
with baked goods.
The system will enslave us,
but only if we let it.
T. Allen Culpepper