Cracked Pot on a Broken Road

(with a nod to the timeless fable and
apologies to Leonard Cohen, Rascal Flatts, and Joan Baez)

Democracy, your waterbearers’ burden
is woefully unbalanced as the schemes
of lords and ladies on the hill have hoarded
the vessel that contains our common dreams.

It may appear America is leaking
the essence of the best it might have been,
but “there’s a crack in everything”. A trickle
can nurture hope, “that’s how the light gets in”.

Your promise of equality and freedom
for all has languished in the hands of few
for centuries. We’re ready for our blessing,
“the broken road that leads (us) straight to you”.

As trampled seeds of progress line the shoulders
along the path, replenishment relies
on sharing distribution of the bounty
that longs to shower down from cloudless skies.

Let sunshine pierce the depths of every crevice
and justice flow like water to replace
the field of opposition in obstructing
“the president (who) sang Amazing Grace”.

2021 Mary Boren
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America in the Mirror

We’re appalled in confronting the picture —
a reflection for too long denied —
of a country that’s spiraling swiftly
down the drain in its ethical slide.

As each visible blemish emerges
it uncovers what runs underneath
that’s more painful and deeply enduring
than the spinach between our front teeth.

We’ve been stripped of our make-believe mantle
in assuming an elegant pose,
for that arrogant profile’s now hidden
by the hideous wart on our nose.

What we fancied a flawless complexion
is revealed as a sallow facade
tinged with orange, an outbreak of acne
that is oozing infection abroad.

It’s a face only Mother could cherish,
overdue for a treatment to rout
every trace of disease and self-loathing.
We are one. “As within, so without.”

cc-by-nc-nd

  2019 Mary Boren

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Give Me Your Tired

 

With boundless greed invading
like charging bulls, creating
an atmosphere of hating
all up and down the aisle,
remember how we started
with open hearts unguarded
and immigrants rewarded
for waiting by the mile.

For all have benefited
from hordes that were admitted,
like threads securely knitted
in variegated style.
Our tapestry unravels
if loudly pounding gavels
prevail. In all your travels,
outshout them with a smile.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2018 Mary Boren

 

Photo from the U.S. National Archives

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