You can grow up mean in little houses
without a single book, save the Bible
slaughtering pigs, kicking chickens
drowning kittens without a second thought.
Rusty coal stove in the living room
Poppa smelling of gasoline and oil
Momma strange and unpredictable
a quit school boy from cracker high.
Grow’d up broad shouldered
working a plastic injector machine
at a Rubber Maid factory.
Mutt faced sons and daughters of the Republic
in the dismal corners of our great land,
that American dream long forgotten
along with youthful hopes and dreams
“Fifteen hundred a month, Honor and Glory!
free room and board!” look pretty damn good
compared to humpin big roll sod
across an ever expanding landscape of McMansions.
So yes! Volunteer! Defend us against the other
as once you played cowboys and Indians;
slopes and gooks, browns and blacks
now ragheads and camel jockeys.
Plastic toy armies, tortured with flame and steel
doing dark deeds in far away places, out of sight
in dusty back streets
on the farthest edges of Empire.
Inspired by Joe Bageant and Pete in Beetley