Punch

Lilies thrust their green-gloved fingers
Up through crusted dirt, through banked
Dead leaves, from balled white fists
Packed with energy stockpiled to fuel
An unexpected early blow to winter’s gloom.

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper

Great Again

The terrorism of the autocrat

deploys no bombs homemade

from pipes or pressure-cookers,

but, even if bloodless, wounds

the souls of the people, of the

nation, left to exist in pain

or limbo, but deprived of the

rights that make existence life.

It punishes, excludes, runs

backward over progress

and flattens it, drives it

underground. And it lays

a pipeline, a conduit of

hatred and alienation, and

becomes itself the pressure-

cooker, screwing down

the lid that will fly off

across the kitchen when

the anger and fear explode,

breaking the country apart,

glorifying the tyrants

of economic oppression,

burdening those already

kicked in the face, deflated

by the persistent absence

of opportunity. And the

seekers—of asylum,

of settlement, of peace,

will be turned empty

away from the country

that immigrants built

over the graveyards

of the indigenous,

further denigrating

their martyrdom. The

nation that has grown

rich through the

proud exploitation

of its natives, its

incomers, its underclasses

and exiles, but now

refuses to share. If

greatness rests on hatred,

on discrimination and

exclusion, on ignorance

and misunderstanding,

the great again seems

less noble.

 

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper