America

Have you heard the lamentations of the women
driven from their homes before the dawn?
Can you hear the crying of the children
in the morning, when they wake to find them gone?

Don’t lie to me, America;
don’t stand there and try to tell me we’re all better off this way.
Those freedoms that you gave us,
when you said you came to save us,
(all these bonds which now enslave us)
cost more than all we had to give away.

Do you see the desolation of the valleys
where so many generations’ fields were sown?
Or feel the silent sadness of the fathers
aching for a child they’ve never known?
You pawned them for the highest price
their innocence, their souls, their lives
their involuntary sacrificial offering to sin and vice –

so small
in light of all you stood to GAIN.

But all your tears could not recuse me
so my darling, please excuse me;
I’ll not echo your Malthusian refrain.
For the grand manipulations and the false emancipations of
your wretched supplication to your god of liberation –
how many of my sisters have you SLAIN?

So come here, sit down, shut up – and listen to me, little girl.
You want to enchain the whole world, and it’s NOT OKAY.
But in the end the truth will find you
that the only chains that bind you
are the decisions that define you;
no matter what those other voices say.

We’re all prisoners in the dungeons of our making;
we all must choose the penance that we pay.
Down in the darkness waiting,
just before the dawn was breaking –
when the devil knocked, you smiled and bade him stay.
And you’ve been selling all your charms,
now your crying for the arms
of a man who says he wants you anyway.

But did your white knight on his high horse tell you –
why his armor’s shining?
Could it be perhaps he’s spent more hours polishing than fighting?
Have his hands grown soft?
His face gone pale?
Have his limbs grown weak?
Does his spirit quail?
Will his feet falter when the battle falls like lightning?

Will you watch the tables turn?
Will he be bleeding while you burn?
Or did you think that all the world would be your stage?
Now your curtain call draws nigh –
but you can’t run and you can’t hide from
the dragons you have summoned to your cage.

But don’t cry for me, America;
you’re just another girl with a beautiful face.
When you’re gone, it won’t be long –
some other pretty girl will come along to take your place.

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