To be fair, right now I’m mostly
whistling as I pass
this nation-sized graveyard.
I have been dissatisfied
with every option
that’s ever been presented to me.
Yes, I could have claimed
the easiest identity
and tightened my grip
on a White illusion of
safety; could have
raised a banner
on behalf of the Native
that lay hidden in me and
fought a valiant, visible
losing war; could have straddled
that weathered fence and swung
a leg on either side of it until
it broke under me
and I died as stupidly as I would have
if I’d chosen anything else.
I have America to thank for
these choices, I know:
a choice of skewers, a plethora
of demises. In the long run
we’re all as dead as flagpoles,
no matter what flags we fly.
Is it worth the fight at all?
I’m comfortable saying no,
for the moment at least. Right now
I’m sitting in smoke and mirror land,
thinking about writing new music
in case songs survive what’s coming.
They’ll need lullabies, dirges,
everything from ditties to pretties
to small hymns to whatever is left
of the nature we’ve grown to know.
The only song I hope
they will not need again is
As I wait and fret
about the end, I pray:
whatever choices I have left to make,
let me never have to raise my voice with others
in such a song as that.