Ain’ There a Chicken Law?
In Illinois, soldierly rows of corn,
their spanking new uniforms green,
turned parental airings along ‘66
into trips. What happened
in the front seat stayed, thanks
to rank-breaking waves. Head out
a back window, the rush of wind
meeting the rush of tires
inspired dreams about yellow-gold
kernels slipped into pockets
to share down the road.
In Arkansas, tall soldiers in green
were strangely absent. In their place
were the laps of grandmothers,
one soft, one hard. Between, fields
salted with white polka dots on puffs
of green rowed. Other fields brown
and bare. On those, shacks thin
as lean-to’s squatted, each off to
itself. Rain and fire-hot sun
had striped their raw-looking sides
off black and gray. Children thin
as cotton sacking played in sticky
air grayed by mosquitoes and dust.
Some looked for places to hide,
others drew with rocks in hard-
looking dirt. There, a man stood
by an unframed door, shading
his eyes and looking without
looking at the boxy black car
wore the wrong color plates.
Women too thin for their thin
cotton dresses picked around holes
in wavy boards, feet also bare.
In every land, in every state, Big Money,
in cars driven by Prejudice, Fear, and Hate,
plays chicken with others' sons, daughters,
husbands and wives. Call some soldiers.
Really pit crews they find easy to replace.
Shame if they get torn. Torn from families
and friends who tear from knowing
a hit may crush any time. Get run over
or run off. End eating dirt and hoping E.T’s
turn on the siren. OK to call you B.M.?
Why is it, B. M., that it is we who pay?
Tempted just to go for rushes. Stick
our heads out and settle for pretend-free
and pretend-equal. Keeping “peace?” No!
Stay alert! Stop car Number _66 !!
(c) Phyllis Jean Green, October, 2007
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|Reviewed by Elizabeth Price
|So sad. So brilliant. Why is it? Great question to which there is an endless number of excuses but no answer. Liz|
|Reviewed by Morning Star
|Beautifully written and expressed thoughts
Very sad it brought tears to my eyes as
I sit here as I read this once and again!!
Love Peace and hugssss....Morning Star
|Reviewed by Barbara Smith
|Phyllis, this touched me in a way I cannot explain. It's sad and painful to know how others live and then we wonder...why...why, can't something be done? An excellent write.|
|Reviewed by ~ Holly Harbridge (Reader)
|Excellent write! Holly|
|Reviewed by jude forese
|excellent work, Phyllis ...|
|Reviewed by Felix Perry
|Reviewed by George Thompson
|Good write. Shame on them.
|Reviewed by Joyce Bowling
|A touching write my friend, I agree with Karen it does seem as if many have gotten their priorities mixed up and confused...you've captured it well with this one dear Pea...lingers on one's thoughts!
|Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
|Such a profoundly sad write, you bring tears to my eyes as I sit here reading this once and then again. It seems we have our priorities all mixed up and some can no longer tell right from wrong... Stunning!
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|such a sad and incredibly stirring write-so much truth-|
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
A sad write: if not for them, as Jerry said. It's not the soldiers who are bad, it's those making the rules and giving orders. You don't see THEM on the front lines...a thought provoking write.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|Shame . . . If not for them . . .|