Dialogue With A Flag

You want to call me animal
for the blood breeze blowing through me
every time I see you these days.
By all means, call me animal, say

this anger redefines me
as uncouth or unfit
for your society.
By all means, cast me out

again.  It would not be
the first time or even the second
that you chose my role, made me
your choice of savage beast.

Faced with that again,
I feel ancient
abandon coming on.
Find myself suddenly indifferent

to your spell,
how you snap 
your name, how 
some snap to attention for it.

By all means, declare
that I am not under your 
cover. Let me admit, 
at last, to a lightness

in my step when I think 
of all the generations before me
who did not see you as 
a safe blanket.  By all means

let me be the threat
beyond your edge. Let me
pick up the old tools 
of the enemy’s trade

and recognize them
anew as my best defense.
By all means, let me go.
Let me be free of you,

your red, your white, your 
blue. Too many good people
smothered under those colors.
Too many years I loved you

as if they were not 
smothering me, too. By all means,
gasp in shock and call me
merciless, call me savage again.  This time,

let it be true.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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