The announcer at the county fair

just after the opening announcements

and before the bull riding competition

decides to give the grandstands a lecture

about the Stars and Stripes being

hauled from one war into another,

stamped on, burned, dragged through

traitorous streets by punks and cowards

out of total disrespect for those who

fought so’s we could be kept free

Then he rolls out kids in their cowboy hats,

chaps and spurs to march cute ponies around

the ring waving little flags to the tune

of “God Bless America”

No one has told them yet about the jungles

and rice paddies of South Vietnam,

the presidents and politicians who lied

standing right in front of the same flag to lure

voters to contribute to their next campaigns

Or about the ghosts of nineteen-year-old draftees

I still see rising from the dust of the arena who

never really gave a rat’s ass about that flag at all