Sunday, October 5, 2008


An Occurrence on French Street in Wilmington

Dotting the vista of brick -
The branding islands of green
Canvas awnings claiming our street

And I a camera stand
Upon the middle snapping
A memory of freedom

A street in America
That my taxes helped to pave
All framed neatly in my lens

When a tap, tap, tap, taping
Interrupts my snap-snapping.

Behind me a uniform
Badge reading security
Questions my citizenry

"What am I doing? For  whom?
Am I a tourist in town
Taking pictures of this street?"

For my daughter in Iraq,
A soldier far from her home.
I made no explanation

Silent here in the middle
Pondering on a riddle.

Why is it my prodigy
Is asked to risk her hide
To carry America’s

Version of democracy
To a land in the middle
Of disarray and terror

If we can’t walk without fear
Of the Patriotic Act
Trumping the Constitution?

Is the guardian in our midst
Truly our new terrorist?

Still I snap my photograph,
He talks to his radio.
I wander to the corner.

   Blocks away flash police lights
And in a courtyard on King
Stands a bold shining statue.

Words in metal for all to gaze.
The title across the top
Plainly says Our Bill of Rights.

I take no picture here lest
I invite my own arrest

And walk instead into uncertainty.

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