Who’s Free?

Who’s Free? July 4, 2019

Hey you

Over there on that side of history, 

on that side of the fence…

Let me ask you–

Who’s free? 


I bet 

The guys who signed the thing

That made us free would

Want to know now–

Who’s free? 


Is he free, 

at that desk, with the crushing deadline

And crippling debt on the house 

that’s about to go upside



Is she free,

With three kids and two cancers and one 

worthless healthcare plan? 

The ticking clock asking if 

She’s worth more dead

Than alive? 


Are they free, 

Sitting in churches that call them 

Abominations! filth! sinners!

Covering their hate in 

The shadow of some

Shiny cross? 


What about them–

Black men, hands in the air,

Guns at their backs, 

Cops in pursuit with

Body cams off. 


Or them, over there 

School kids learning to barricade

Their classrooms and hide

Under their desks and

Practicing how

To be invisible. 



Who else is free? 


Kids in cages 

On concrete floors

Wondering if they’ll ever see 

their families again, who 

Came here looking for

Air to breathe.  


Who’s free, exactly? 

The keepers of the cages, the holders of the guns

The governors of our endless debts? 

The Founding Fathers–finally free,

or at least sleeping soundly.


Tell them, on that back end of history,

that guns and money and fences are complex characters

for a fairy tale.


It may be awhile before

we learn who’s keeping who out

or in.

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