I See My Country Being Held Hostage

for Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr.

Flying for the first time since 1987, at the airport
I watch my fellow country people give up their
footwear, belts, wallets, pocketbooks, water bottles.
Show their driver’s licenses at checkpoint after checkpoint.
I must remind myself this is Tampa, not Tel Aviv.

I See My Country Being Held Hostage

On CNN I watch the news anchor smile,
tell of the today’s war toll. In Iraq, to date, 3733
in Afghanistan, 435. I see photos of their boots,
helmets & rifles become their makeshift memorials
mourned in foreign lands, mourned here at home.

I See My Country Being Held Hostage

How indeed it is true, “everything has changed since 9-11.”
In Nassau County, Long Island, New York where a tender,
wild-heart poet lives, I watch as his legislators deny him his
right to be Poet Laureate after decades of writing & mentoring
because his voice would not be held hostage & his soul sings true.

Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

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