Hard Times

War, Civil and Cold and World (both I and II)

Red ribboned black flesh

chained to trees

Spirits destroyed one step at a time

Along a never-ending trail of tears

A legacy of land stolen by

Loud guns and quiet disease

Death by religion

Begging a deaf god

Hiding in ghettos, unknown to all

but the gas

Ash-covered souls rising through the chimney

Accepting a bullet in trade for freedom

Long promised, hard earned

Only to wait

And wait,

And wait

Listening to Crow songs for another 100 years

Vomiting from the smell of Strange Fruit

Sex, the only currency of real value

Taken at the end of a fist

Purple bruises the lasting receipt

Nail-pierced skin

Bones smashed

For daring to proclaim peace

For trying to break through walls

For putting heaven at our fingertips

And love in our hearts

A want-to-be king

Who blames the wood he cut

The kindling he laid

The gas he poured

The match he struck

For the flames consuming the castle

But if you think that was bad,

Oh my God!

Try having to wear a thin, cloth mask

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