Who ever knew that trees could get so big,
Or sunny roads could echo in the day—
These hollow streets sans swings and basketballs
Sing but the trip of leaves against the lawn.
A lazy sun plods by, remote and dragged,
And in the wind, a crisp and jagged chill
Scrapes vacant stoops and stumbles through the chimes
As squirrels and birds commence their working day.
At pace with cats, I browse the cracks of roads
Like routes along an ancient treasure map.
Delivery folk abound. I halt and bow
In honor of their service to our Flag,
And wave to passing strangers, doubting if
I’ll ever see another one again.
Manic dogs converse from yard to yard;
A narrow glove is waiting in the grass;
A Kroger bag—that crackling tumbleweed—
Skids down the shafts of still suburbia.
Above, behold! A conference of the birds
Now dervishes in Heaven, in the free,
Ascended and suspended in the sky,
Awaiting the Revival of the Lord.
“Happy Easter,” says the gardening man.
Across the lawn, a couple trudges off
The curb to let a skittish stranger pass
Their dog, who perks and sniffs six feet away.
The danger flees; they tug the dog, ascend
The curb, continue limping down the road.
A graveyard looms behind them in the east.
Some children rung around a lamppost bloom
With flowers on the island of their lawn,
And huddle near the red wheelbarrow,
On which so much depends.
We walk the pavement: every house a tale.
A row of banners—speckled, hanging—sulks
Along the doorways, drooping in the wind.
A march from house to house, yet none a home.
A playground ribboned up with yellow tape.
Kabobs and onions searing on the grill
As Father can’t recall the names of friends:
“Panini? Baneeni? Khafaaji? Al-Labban?”
We chew the meat, and Father laughs as Tom
and Jerry wreak some havoc on his phone.
With tea, he skims the archives of the dawn
For cute cat videos. “Bizazeen!” he squaws.
Today, our brims run over.
His flock declares: Shall We Not Rise,
As He Has Risen, On This Day, For Us?
Shall We Not Rise?—
Like Dust And Air, Bowed Head And Lowered Eyes?
Shall We Be Herded From Our Shepherd’s House
By Orders From The Likes Of Men And Kings?
Refuse! Resist! That We May Have Our Rights
Again! Attend, Even In Secrecy!
Essential Eli Shan’t Forsake Us Hence!
For Though We Cross The Face Of The Shadow Of Death,
We Fear No Evil! Come Into The Fold!
Petition The Lord With Prayer! Praise His Name!
We Exercise The Right To Risk Our Lives!
We Fear The Plague, But Fear Its Fear As Well,
And Even More! For What Is Safety If
Its Shelter Is More Perilous Than Death?
Rise! Rise! Forsake The Sepulchers!
Roll Back Your Stones And Tear Away The Shrouds!
Let’s March On Lansing! March, America!
Injustice Here’s Injustice Everywhere!
LIBERATE! LIBERATE! Thank God Almighty LIBERATE!
The power of Christ and Benjamin compels them.
The Shepherd’s barred, but waltzing in his garb:
The Priesthood of the Valley and the Hill,
Both Great and Terrible, all with much to say!
A Fine Triumvirate—Byte, And Buck, And Bill!—
O Trinity! Our Dollar Which Art In Heaven!
And now, as if to rouse our souls and faith:
You President, a man of wealth and taste!
How Great indeed, devoid of doubt and pain:
What puzzles is the nature of your game.
When Oz misspoke, why did he speak at all?
That We The People May Enlist For War?
Emerge? Come Back To Work? Assume The Ranks,
That Wolves May Have Their Sheep And Eat Them Too?
Shall We Convene—Compliant, Orderly—
Like Bricks Along Your Parchment Silicon Wall
To Scrape And Rake Your Muck, While You Collect?
My countrymen, we are too brash for luck,
Too wild for good, too boisterous for sense.
Perhaps disaster is our only hope.
Perhaps we crave a perilous fight beyond
The ramparts of our stoops and lawns. Perhaps
This land and home of free and brave would best
Be left to thrash with death than crouch in fear.
Perhaps with time and fate, we best be left
To strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield.
doubting…again “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. A narrow…grass “A narrow Fellow in the Grass” by Emily Dickinson. Kroger an American retail supermarket. Above…birds “The Conference of the Birds” by Farid ud-Din Attar; The Quran 27:16. rung around a lamppost “Ring a Ring o’ Rosie”, an English nursery rhyme. the red…depends “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams. banners—speckled “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Tom and Jerry an American cartoon series. Bizazeen “Cats” in Arabic (Iraq). Today Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. our brims run over “my cup runneth over” The Bible KJV Psalm 23. He Has Risen The Paschal (Easter) Greeting. Like Dust…Eyes “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. Herded…House “The Lord is my shepherd” Psalm 23. Eli Shan’t…Hence! Matthew 27:46. We Cross…Evil! Psalm 23. Come…Fold John 10:16. Petition…Prayer “The Soft Parade” by The Doors. Rise…Shrouds John 20. Lansing, Michigan, the State Capitol. Injustice…Everywhere “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. LIBERATE… “I Have A Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.; “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” tweeted by Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 11:22 AM Apr 17, 2020. The power…them “The Exorcist”, 1973. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), the face on the American $100 bill. Valley…Hill Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill. Great and Terrible “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Our Dollar…Heaven The Lord’s Prayer. And now…your game “Sympathy For The Devil” by The Rolling Stones. Oz “I’ve realized my comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention. I misspoke.” tweeted by Dr. Mehmet Oz @DrOz, a celebrity doctor, 5:20 PM Apr 16, 2020; “The Wizard of Oz”, 1939. We The People The US Constitution. That Wolves…Sheep “The Wolf of Wall Street”, 2013; “Let them eat cake,” attributed to Marie Antoinette. Like Bricks…Wall “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd; Wall Street. a perilous…brave “the Star-Spangled Banner”. with time…to yield “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.