revised — originally posted 2/11/2018

American Gothic is a very famous painting
Experts like to argue about which America it’s about
One thing I think we can all agree on
is that the picture is centered on a pitchfork

We like to think we’re different
We like to think we’re beyond it
We like to think we’re not the ones
who are supposed to hold the pitchfork

Our biggest problem?
Out of an excess of kindness
we have let the other side pick up
all the torches and pitchforks

No one’s scared of
any of us because
we said “this can’t be happening”
instead of “where’s my pitchfork”

It’s not the exclusive tool of the devil
It’s just another tool on the rack
We can’t make hay while our sun dims
We need to learn our way around a pitchfork

Boycotts chants and votes do matter
They matter even more when
it’s clear that behind all our moves
are the tines of a forest of pitchforks

It is good to punch the obvious ones
but eventually we will have to get around
to watching a billionaire wriggle
on the end of a pitchfork

So go and look at that painting
Put yourself in it and imagine the feel of the handle
No one in there looks happy but they surely have
a hold on that blessed pitchfork

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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