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Before it came
before sense deserted my people,
it often reassured me
of its worth and its sense.
It told me of its plans:
build the bridges
maintain the schools
keep the people safe.
I was deceived.
I let it come.

It eclipsed me
with a fiery passion.
Sheathed in a white veil,
it packed my people
off to die.

I tried to salvage the broken pieces.
They refused to be melded.
I tried to see a bright future.
I crashed through the past instead.

I had no wish to live.
I had no time to die.
I only had my family.
It controlled them,
a weakling
with corruption in its heart.
We did not forget the promises
it had made
not so very long ago.
I lived an endless nightmare
In a world I had not recognized
as hateful
until I discovered
that it had changed.

I would have fought.
I would have made it bow
with humility
grovel at my feet
gripe and grimace
cringe and quail
beg for my forgiveness
for inducing my guilt
for using my family’s loyalty
to control me.
But I could do nothing.
I am just earth
and sea and sky.

One day
it had to leave
clobbered down by my cousins
sisters
friends
brothers
who had time to fight.
Who had time to die.
Who had realized its power
and its weakness.
I watched with pride.
We are this country, you and I.



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