Whistles

The news is showing a rally for Ukraine
and I bite my lip till it bleeds
as I think about all-American flag waving
and wonder how many of those people
out there tonight waving the Ukrainian flag

will go home afterward 
whistling past the fact
that their own flag stands above 
a killing field, waves daily
above a graveyard
right outside their front doors
as they go off to a job
built on another graveyard
and pass ever-growing graveyards
of even more on the way, 
every day?

They whistle past
their own fascists, grave diggers all,
palefaced dogs in tactical gear.
Someone’s calling those dogs to war
right here, right now, and they ain’t just whistling
that dirty old song, ain’t just blowing 
old dog whistles; they are running up
all their dog-dirty old flags
to see who’ll offer the flat-hand salute

as the masses look away, look away, 
whistling past this graveyard
called a neighborhood,
this nation that increasingly
heaves and floods
in new heat and new cold.
Some are falling to their knees now, it’s true.
Some others are still falling into holes
in good old American ground.

The bombs are falling on Kyiv
and we cry
as we should
for what happens there
as it happens everywhere, 
as it is happening here
and has always happened here.
Cry now for Kyiv
as you should cry for Yemen;
cry now as you once did
for Hanoi, for Da Nang;

as you should have cried
for Sand Creek,
for Wounded Knee,
for Tulsa,
for Philadelphia. 

From not far above comes
a movie-tuned whistle
we all understand:
the keening of a bomb falling,
a song of all the world.

Whose flag is on the nose of the bomb?
Under what flag do the people stand
who shall soon be killed?

I bite my lip
imagining the colors
of a yet-unstitched flag
that shall proclaim: 

We see you, bombers;
we see all of you.
No more. No more
of this, of you. 

That one.  
That’s the one to wave.

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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