A 22 year old father in Wisconsin. A 13 year old child (A CHILD!) in Chicago. A mass shooting in Tennessee that didn’t even have time to get traction. A trial for a murderous cop, and an arrest for another. Elected officials voting against (AGAINST!) anti-racist legislation. And even now, Indianapolis. Stay strong, reader, for we must prevail.

Which Witch, America?

They tell me you are wicked, America
and I believe them
with their stories, 1001 frights, like
that of the gunned up movie cinema
and the gummed up postal service
and the poster child, swiss-cheesed 
with bullets, who was taught not to shout
during shooting drills so they wouldn’t get shot
and the police bullhorns that announce
rapid-fire “Hands up!” to which the unarmed 
respond “Don’t shoot!” before the shots get fired
and when the guns are holstered
knees are down on necks and backs
and huffing and puffing the asthmatics wheeze
“I can’t breathe”
and somehow the knee on the neck is A-OK
but the knee on the field
on the pitch on the yard line
the knee that brings the theme song
back to reality
is the one knee that thrusts into America’s groin
and these stories, 1001 slights
bleed into one another as 
the raped and the hunted and the shunted
come to the border to their new frontier
their final frontier for a chance to bake
their own apple America pie
and without a wall you throw up cages
the way piñatas throw up candy
and goodies and you make the lines long
longer than endless campaign ads
and the stories of 1001 plights
and you say “Votes up! Don’t drink!”
and the woman with the water bottle
and the man brawning the ice chest
are met with the resistance that
should be reserved for the 
school-going gunman and the 
movie-going gangster
and the concert-loving marksman

they tell me you are wicked
America
and I believe them
and then brace
and muster the courage 
to fight

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s