Make us this day, Great again

Sunrise, Menorca, 2018 — Photograph by Ben Weinberg

I been dreaming the ‘Merican dream,
every time I start to wake up
I take another hit
The man is on again
going on again
about how we got to go back
get back
take back
to where we were great again.

But great is a future State,
a place we have yet to be.
A place where promises;
aren’t just slogans on helium balloons,
bumper sticker say so,
last thing you’ll see of the convoy,
riding into the sunset.
Taking all they can carry.

I been dreaming the American dream;
purple mountain majesties,
fruited plain,
wide open fields of opportunity,
from sea to shining sea.
Only I must have the settings wrong;
I see the kid in Wyoming hanging from a fence post
the kid in Bangor dumped off the bridge,
the kids with broken faces for being in the wrong places,
the busted, the broken-eyed,
the homeless, the hopeless, the lost.
Like paradise ain’t for you and me,
only for the few that’s chosen
or got there first in line.
As though getting there first is a holy state,
Blessed are those on the first boat,
Anointed and Appointed to Situations of Prominence and Virtue.

So sing me a song of happenstance.
The American dream where the righteous are rewarded
sweat of the brow,
Join the chorus if you know the tune.
And while we’re singing,
hands on hearts,
all eyes on the flag,
There’s another anthem being rung,
Hey Joe, watcha’ doin’ with your hand in the till,
I’m in with the insider trading
pays to be in with the in-crowd
pays to know what the in-crowd knows
All the pretty suits in a row
just as sure as the homeless and the lost lined up for a slice and bowl.

In the howling silence, the voices of industry swell.
Extracting beyond all limits.
Beyond carrying capacity.
Because it was there.
Until, quite suddenly,
there wasn’t.



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benjamin weinberg

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.