For Black History Month 2021

For Black History Month 2021

There are  at least two America’s waiting for a shot in the arm

Dolt 45 is gone but definitely not forgotten
Citric Acid in exile 
Able was he err he saw Mar LargoHis
Waterloo was Georgia

But he still dreams of future victories
His acolytes rioting in disbelief 
Privileged revolutionaries granted organic food in jail
And freedom to leave the country for vacation 
With pending federal charges. 

Effective immediately I’m advising all black and brown people 
All of the huddled masses yearning to be free approaching our southern boarder 
And all of The Dreamers awaiting a path to citizenship 
to become:
vegan Shamans 
who need organic food while jailed
AND to have previously planned vacations outside of the country
Before they “ALLEGEDLY” commit federal crimes 
Recorded by multiple cameras
Resulting in death and mayhem

That is as long as they are not killed as they are being apprehended
Shot in their own homes 
Murdered in parks at twelve years old for playing with a toy gun
Or, killed while crossing the boarder

It’s time to sing Kum Ba Yah
Or to hold hands and sing We Are the World
Democracy isn’t dead 
It just has a bad case of COVID-19 — the American mutation

I’ve heard people say forgive and forget while
Carrying the confederate flag 
Which apparently hasn’t been forgotten

And like ideas that once fueled a Holocaust 
Which apparently has been forgotten

I’ve heard it said “reach across the aisle”
While denying the rise of homegrown domestic terrorism

We Shall Overcome is still sung in the future tense

Take your foot out of my ass
And I’ll find it much easier to shake hands
Stop using my heart as a scabbard 
If you want me to find a way to love

What has to happen before 
Enough has happened?
Give me my flowers while I yet live
And sing to me before my elements become five
Become dust to dust
And my breath merges with the atmosphere

I don’t want to be free to carry a gun through a metal detector
I want to be free enough not to be stopped and frisked while not carrying a gun

I don’t want to become a Congress person with only a G.E.D.
But I would like retuning citizens to have the right to vote and become gainfully employed 
Once they have paid their debt to society.

Or, are there limits to forgiving and forgetting?

And while we are at it
Feed the jailed organic food, too, 
Like they feed Jake Angeli The QAnon Shaman
The men and women who will do more time for a bag of marijuana Than men and women who tried to steal America
Subvert the political system
And disenfranchise citizens who voted legitimately 
And had no criminal records at all.

I’d like to ask why making it easier to vote and increasing civic participation in a representative democracy is a bad thing?

I’d like to ask why there are over 100 new state wide initiatives to limit access to voting now being proposed?

Is it because the road blocks to the ballot 
And the gerrymandering now in place 
Weren’t enough to stop Stacy Abrahams from doing her best imitation Of Fanny Lou Hamer?

It must have been voter fraud 
How could determined grass roots door to door organizing 
Overcome all of the obstacles to voting 
Erected in the last decade
And flip a southern state from red to blue?

Somebody cheated
Screamed the “somebodies” who have always cheated
And failed 
This time
To institute a 21st century neo-reconstruction 

Stay together children 

For the barbed wire now ringing The Capitol

For Juneteenth

For Stacy 

For Fanny Lou

For Ida B. Wells and soulful women with crowns who saved America and sent the dreaming down to us

For Rosa Parks 

For those who believe in Homeric gods that can fix elections 
but allow COVID-19 to eat us alive

For hypocritical evangelical preachers still wondering why 
What god whispered in their ear didn’t come to pass 
And for their flocks that think that god cares more about an election than we should.

For New Age peaceniks who think 
“It’s ALL in our minds”
Or the result of a long acting Pluto transit
All of the positive thinking
And all of the granola 
Doesn’t seem to be saving California

And if you had read the myth you would know that 
Spring returns to the earth
When kidnapped children are allowed to return 
And embrace their mother

Free The Daughters of the Earth!
And let the springtime return.

For the summer peaceful protestors attacked in Lafayette Park to make way for a photo opportunity in front of a church
An upside down Bible 
In an Orange spray tanned hand

While their wrathful winter counterparts were allowed to pillage the people’s house
And smear their excrement on its walls 
As 45 watched in glee
Refusing to call in the National Guard
Rioters who had enough enthusiasm to cause mayhem 
But not enough civic mindedness to have voted.

For the branches of government that can’t pass a stimulus bill
But can rise to censure those who vote their conscience

For those who can only speak their minds in secret 
But pander to the ignorant mobs when their names have to be attached

For the teachers who are dying of COVID-19 for which there is not an accurate count

And for the homeschooled children forgetting what they already didn’t know

And most especially 
For those who still think that on January 20th “WE” won.
In a divided house
With a divided house
That cannot stand


By Heidi Lindemann and Michael Perry

(Image Credit: Kennedy Center)