I am an American man,
Who is remembering how
He arose from his seat
At the sound of the bell
And recited the Pledge of Allegiance with ease.
I’ve asserted I’m an American man
Who till the age of sixteen,
Saluted the flag
Until I saw it was snagged
On the white picket fence in my dream.
The “liberty” I felt, then,
Not just the word a child said,
But the right that I had just to be,
Made me think, if I were to choose, I would
Not be abused if I played my own music off-key.
I am glad to be an American man,
Which means, by that fact, I am free
To pick up my keys
And open the door and walk
To the store in the darkness and drizzling rain.
And I, the American me,
Dared to pull over my hoodie
Just because I am free:
Better a wet rag on my head
Than wet kinks in my curls, damp and wooly and twirled.
I was sure I was an American man
When I heard the car hum
And saw the lights blare as they come,
And the pudgy man
Take to the street, white, and on foot like a cop on the beat.
So, I turned and the light in our eyes parallaxed.
His, like an arctic glare
That froze the minutes which hung
Between us in our stare.
Mine in his, was a stag’s,
A stag in a place it just ought not to be.
The glint in his eye said what “American” is,
And what American is, wasn’t me.
Tis the one with a licence to hunt,
To determine who is prey, that’s the one who can say, “I’m free!”
When he brandished the rod
I knew I was had,
For the ice in his eye cut through me.
So, I did all that I could
But it did me no good for all I had left was a scream.
The words we exchanged mattered not,
For the eyes I’d seen,
And the chill I’d felt,
Told me in two breaths I’ud not be.
But a stag has antlers still;
So, I’ll mangle and gore as I step out the door,
And maybe my killer, too,
by duCat © 20013-2014 All Rights Reserved.
July 17, 2013