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Bullets and Barbed Wire-Spanish Civil War relics-Madrid-2017 — -Photograph by Ben Weinberg

United we stand.
Stand for what?

I graduated high school in 1976.

Bicentennial, baby.
U.City, only integrated school district in St. Louis County,
Seven miles south of Ferguson.
Where time’s still standing
I can hear the clock ticking
but the hands ain’t moving.
Tick — -Where you stand?
Tock — -Who you standing on?
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock

United we stand.
One brand over all:
Wonderbread and Oreos.
Captain Crunch and Spagetti-Os.
Snap, Crackle, Pop goes the AK,
a weasel in every box.
Long summer heating up,
ain’t got much but always got Seven-Eleven.

Got fifty flavors of Slurpee brain freeze.
Can’t do the math when life’s on hold
shoulda ran the numbers,
oughta looked down the barrel
Opiods, meta, beta, alpha dogs
lasered, tasered, Rounded-up
everyone at the rodeo sporting the thousand yard stare.

Mighta seen it in a movie
know I read it somewhere
Headlines, trendlines bottom lines
in the maze, the only one who knows the way out
is the one who’s got the script.
But why read between the lines
when someone’s there to hold your hand
even if it’s your wicked Uncle Ernie
Can you hear me?

United we stand.
Stand for what?

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