Skip to main content

Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
Home
Contents
Biographies
Submissions
Archives
Editors
Contact Us
Publications
Policies
Monument
 
 
 
They’re building a statue of Joseph McCarthy
on the Mall in Washington DC. A scaffold
of human bones supports the structure
that towers over the rubble of the Lincoln Memorial.
At night klieg lights illuminate the scene to show the world
our pride in America’s homegrown despot. A flashing red bulb
on the senator’s head warns away low-flying aircraft.
 
Protests have no effect. Lies fall like missiles as politicians fire bricks
in the kiln of hypocrisy. Airwaves buzz with reports of well wishers
leaving tiny Eichmann figures at the statue’s base.
 
A toxic haze loiters like a pack of stray dogs.
Books fuel the blast furnace that smelts wiretaps,
the tortureds' screams, and untried prisoners’ tears into slag
that will form the senator’s bulbous nose and cruel mouth.
Fiction, poetry, and science books, too, all go into the fires.
I thought the Bible would be safe, but a girl in an Idi Amin T-shirt
came with scissors to remove the offending passages.
 
I touch this land.
The spirits of freedom sprout: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln,
a bounty of abolitionists, suffragists,
union organizers, and soldiers who died for liberty.
The blacklisted arise: David Bohm, Charlie Chaplin,
Aaron Copland, John Garfield, Dashiell Hammett,
Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Zero Mostel,
Robert Oppenheimer, Dorothy Parker, Paul Robeson,
Pete Seeger, and Studs Terkel.
Armed with pickaxes and microphones the legions converge
to tear that abomination down.

                                                                     -Jon Wesick