To Chip the Black Paint

Photo by Ann Harkness

Photo by Ann Harkness

I woke up
and the light of heroes shone
through my eyelids,

and I thought
I should have misgivings,
but these were heroes.

Mind you, they beat their women
and killed darkies
short of their tenth day

then celebrated their easy victories
with pronouncements
so virtuous

as to chip the black paint
from the kettles
we could never prove or disprove

orbited Gaea’s head.
Mind you,
a wallet or a pack of Skittles

in the wrong color of hands
were dangers
to life and limb,

so celebration
makes a kind of sense. Still I feel
I should feel

some kind of way
about making heroes of monsters,
but I am American, after all.

~ryas

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