A poem that is not patriotic because lives are more sacred than a piece of cloth

Image description: Poem in red and blue text on white background. Un-formatted text of poem is below. This poem was originally written November 29, 2016.

The flag is sacred

Symbol of this land

He says take away citizenship

For those who burn it

There’s no nuanced conversation

Just a lot of white liberals

Talking about their

Military family

And disrespect

It’s disrespectful to burn

The flag

But not to pay so low

Families at home are

On food stamps

It’s disrespectful to burn

The flag

But not to provide

Shoddy care to those

Who come home wounded

And even shoddier care

To those who become ill

Or disabled with age

You know what?

Fuck you and your military family

Who are trained to dehumanize

Who have a long legacy

Of raping and pillaging

Of stealing resources

Of snatching head scarves

Of torturing teen boys

Of shitting on holy books

And burning the flags of others

It’s disrespectful to burn

The flag

A damn piece of cloth

That means very little

In a country that voted

For a tyrant of newly grand

Proportions

A man who proudly wears

The Nazi flag

Hides himself in tall buildings

Where he never has to

See the homeless veteran

Begging on the corner

To be able to eat

Or sleeping in a doorway

Remember when citizenship

Was up for grabs?

When it could be revoked

By random decree?

You know the history we swore

We’d “never forget”

They waved flags then too

And talked about the honor

Of their soldiers

Soldiers who stripped people naked

Raped and pillaged

Beat sick people mercilessly

Treated their dogs better

Than their prisoners

Burned books and art

Burned libraries and museums

And homes

Burned the flags

Of others

Fuck your people

More concerned with

Their flag

Than with rightness or justice

And the values they claim

They fought for

Fuck your flag

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