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Stars and Bloody Stripes

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I often wonder if the citizens who shine in the office, the fields, and the shop are the same ones who inhabit the gutters on the street in political matters. Are they one and the same or can citizens be separated into the good and the bad?
Raise your gaze and mind to the flag, And there see all that we bear to this land – A looking glass it is of our hopes and deeds. Stars and stripes are all I ever see: Stars that make my heart hop with glee And stripes, bloody stripes, that make it drop. Some stripes are the lash marks of the whip And some the slash marks of the sword That foes in citizen skin inflict on the realm Whenever it defies their morbid will. They’re creatures of the dark, these sorts: When duty calls, duty that they must shirk, Off goes the lights and on comes their rights, Their rights, false rights, that squirm under lights. But they fly too low to touch the stars, And so their light they cannot snuff. Thank God for all who hold the stars high, And keep the flag aflutter, the better to shake off her wounds. They’re the nation’s designated driver, Her steady oarsman, when greed and hate derange the rest. When her bulk teeters in a muddle, Out comes the hulk in them To take firm hold of her wreckage And steer her ashore for time and care to mend.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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Date: 11/8/2022 4:24:00 AM
Well-written, Agona. Am enjoying a few of your selections this AM. I'm sure your database is more prolific than appears here at PS. Inspiring piece, the last stanza is superb, building line after line to the end. A marvelous reference to creatures of the dark, likewise. As I prepare to vote this morning, I recognize the import of your first lines. It is impossible to discover the true views of candidates beyond the shiny advertising; they do so often change once they walk the gutters of politics.
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Date: 8/21/2022 6:04:00 PM
Your point is passionate and extremely well taken. America's history is fraught with brutality and injustice as told in Howard Zinns book, "Peoples History Of the United States," a lot of fine qualities as well. Robert
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