ONE – a battle flag poem

One week ago two friends and I held the book release for our book Battle Flag. The book is our response to a world that seems to have gone mad. The event was a step towards understanding and healing that world one word at a time. It was an amazing evening and I’d like to think a powerful one. For the event I wrote two poems. I rarely write poems. I think in terms of stories, not poems. Poems, for me, are easier to get to the emotion of a thing, to cut the fat away and to get at the meat. A story lets me unfold a tapestry and guide the reader along its nuances. Poem – knockout. Story – TKO. I am just not very skilled at poetry. Even so, I felt the evening called for poetry so that’s what I produced. I wrote two poems.

The following is one of them.

If you’d like to check out Battle Flag please follow the link – all sales will go towards Planned Parenthood.


They told us we were One
The day that irony died.
When our schools became gun ranges we swore
We’d end the violence.
When Boston’s green ran red we joined hands
And offered prayers.
Our mantra became
Never Again
Never Again
Never Again.
A prayer, a plea, a command that lost its meaning as soon as it was uttered.
“Not many were killed” has become our common silver lining.
Never Again
Will we stand by and watch
Will we fail to act
Will we allow horror to rule the day.
We are one nation, one country, united under a flag of freedom.
We are united
Unless you speak up
Unless you speak out
Unless you march on
Unless you fight.
We’ve come to hate the inconvenience of oppression.
The annoyance of equality.
The obnoxiousness of rights.
We are One until we are They.
Then it’s
They are doing this
They are doing that
They are damaging this country.
We are rallied behind liars to fight one another under the premise that They are coming for us.
Never seeing that we are They.
We have always been They.
Fleeing our homelands for freedom.
Fleeing from discrimination because of our heritage, our religion, our color.
Coming to this world we dare call new because we need the dream of hope
For our family,
For ourselves,
Just not for Them.
Wrapped in our blue collar flag of frustration and armed to the teeth,
Guarding the borders from boogeymen that are already here.
Waiting for the next tragedy to bring us together so we can
Pass along prayers and good wishes and post our patriotic memes.
Proud to be an American,
With the freedom to hate.
Because we are One, aren’t we?
Unless you’re one of Them.


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