Saturday, May 8, 2010

Middle Redux: New Fear Just the Old Fear

A Sestina

In ‘ought-three my daughter was sent to war.
Then worrying on how she could be lost,
While taking pictures on a public street,
Got detained by a security man.
Wrote in my poem, “Middle”, it was clear
I should have fear of the Patriot Act.

A grandchild sired from the Sedition Act,
Rules and restrictions justified by war.
That may be true, but what is never clear,
For the fog of war obscures freedom lost.
When basic rights depend on rules of Man,
You may be jailed for photos of a street.

Once upon a time, protests on the street
Were branded by the law a treasonous act.
Who said that? Woodrow Wilson was the man.
Using the cover of the First World War,
He shut down papers and free press was lost.
“You don’t criticize my war,” he made clear.

During World War Two, your skin wasn’t clear
And white when seen on an American Street,
You could be arrested and your whole life lost.
Being Japanese was a suspect act
Even though you were supporting the war.
FDR called you a dangerous man.

In this millennium came the Bush man.
After attack with the future not clear,
Leading not to one, but two kinds of war,
Brought us down the road to Division Street
Where Congress approved the Patriot Act.
But Democrats soon raged freedom was lost.

We live in danger of rights being lost,
Yet have seen no move by the current man
To tear down the wall of that confound act.
Nor has there been a clarion call clear,
Where people yell or protest in the street.
Just a claim all is permissive in war.

But what of our war when common cause lost
At home on Main Street? Shouldn’t woman and man
Each feel safe and clear of Patriot Act?

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