Seahorses

Seahorses

A seahorse struggles to hold life, gasping for water
as it dies, wriggling into the position it will dry into.
Agony for the sake of amusement. A carcass is worth
the smile on the face of a child who will pick at the bits
left in the bony-plated shell of now peaceful being.

We contort into positions that seem unnatural,
drying out in the forty years to hold onto life.
Our fragile bodies are thirsty and becoming rigid
as the important few decide how human we are.

America, the land of those whose voices don’t frighten
the small-minded into recruiting toddlers to fight
the great injustices of equality and tolerance.
The little hands hold the hatred in words they cannot yet read,
and the seeming importance of what they are doing shows
on bright and happy faces. They aren’t the evil they spread.

Our bodies are labeled for easy identification,
classified and sorted so the yokels will know where to direct
hate and whose livelihoods are free to destroy.
Hate never stands a chance against love;
those of us who’ve bathed ourselves in this goodness of life
are catching they eyes of the sympathetic.
Hate is sitting on rather shaky ground.

The heroes haven’t all made it through,
drying out at the hands of assassins or themselves,
future great leaders struck down in youth
by the oppression of a nation plagued with fear.
They are the fuel of our passion, the fire driving us
to keep searching for a little more to drink.

The arms are starting to open up, to take us in.
Bodies are too numerous to count, the toll is high.
War is ugly, but the fallen find great honor in victory.
None will be forgotten as we start to find our new America,
falling safely into the comfort of new friends.

Carcasses won’t be on display anymore, the animals
will have been put back into the water, into their homes.
Christopher Street will remain peaceful, the rage
we still feel fading into history. We will know only trust.
The sun of that day is just throwing light across the horizon
and perhaps our children will finally see it rise.

7.1.2009

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2 thoughts on “Seahorses”

  1. You covered all the bases with the poem, I think. I liked it very much. Was the singular/plural disjunct in the first line of the third stanza intentional? I only ask because it jarred the flow a little.

    Crazy video! Euro-Gypsy-Disco-Pop? What a performer…worth his facial expressions alone!

  2. Thanks for the catch! Fixed it — of course, I tinkered around with the rest of it too.

    Grr… it still sounds like a speech.

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