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 Union more perfected, justice established,

            Liberty-blessed for some, for progeny.
Landholding fathers, founding brothers,
            Birth-givers to the first gene.
Calling on God and Reason as kinfolk,
            Amending, rights-billing from the start.
                        Join Or Die.
                        Eighty seven.  
Fissure, rebellion, crisis, justice suspended,
            Liberty-confirmed  for some, for progeny.
Crestfallen fathers, embattled brothers,
            Mutated, naturally selected.
Crying to God and Reason like kinfolk,
            Amending still, freedom-granting.
                        Sixty three.
Dreaming in chaos, disobedience with cause.
            Liberty-redefined for some, for progeny.
Black-robed fathers, assassinated brothers,
            Bi-Helix twisted, coded, knotted.
Protesting to god and Reason, strange kinfolk, 
            Amending through jurisprudence.
                        Now, integrate.
                        Sixty eight.
Progeny elected, entitled without recompense,
            Liberty-nuanced for some, fore-progeny.
Fathers and mothers, brothers loving brothers,
            Cankered species, new-gene cleaved.
Owning god and reason, hospiced kinfolk,
            Emending, refining through nuance.
                        Fourteen, then.

Fifth of June

I was at the Magic Kingdom, alone,

                        Fittingly lone,
            Just stepping off the Carousel of Progress,
            Still, “These are the Times”-ing
            When the phone, belt-clipped, rang
            With atonal, casual urgency.
Overwhelmed by the sun, I sought shadow-
                        Obscured, heated
            Preparation for the voice on the other end.
            Sweat dripped into my eyes; squinting
            As I answered, “Hello,”
            Day-Star-blinded and optimistic.
“Have you heard?”  “No. What?” “Sorry.”
                        “God, what is it?”
            “His Sun set, finally.” I knew instantly
            That, even in the intersection of make-
            Believe and greatness, of ranches
            And studio lots, he shoneheadlinedstill.
Loving Nancy and God and America,
                        And even me,
            Tackling malaise with vision, with words,
            With myth, from behind the golden
            Curtain, before the Iron Curtain
            He took his place beyond the sunrise.
To the sunset on our Carousel of
                        Victor’s Progress,
            Fighting on, eclipsed and echoing resolve
            Like a trumpet against Jericho,
            With humble fallibility, page-turning:
            A new scene, a new story: an enduring hope.                                  

New Pillow

In the last days, before I was convinced to finally part with her,

I would crawl under the covers and lay my head upon her,
knowing that her days were not unnumbered,
The single constant that had accompanied me since childhood-
thirty years, at least, my quiet sleeping companion.

She gave of her mete to my wandering fingers, searching ever
In those moments when I needed–sought–them
For the wholesome prick of a feather’s quill,
Poking through the fabric meant to contain them as fill,
to be drawn out as an instant treasure, a trophy.

She too, had once been young and fresh and sturdy: unblemished.
The perfect accompaniment for the change to manhood,
Soft and forgiving of my imperfections, midnight-flipped,
Cradling my head in slumber, folded and lumbar-supporting
As I read or watched TV, or in other recumbent endeavors.

As I’d pull one feather out, others queued up for extraction,
Until together, in an OCD-eternity before slumber,
Piles of feathers were transferred to the floor, bits of her
To be gathered up in the morning or pushed underneath the bed
With dust bunnies, crunchy towels and National Geographics.

And after decades of such extractions, the once plump and sturdy,
Unswerving, undemanding, post-indulgent head lounge,
Now sweat, tear, and love-stained, sleep-strained,
Replaced with a cuddling constant that gives without deteriorating:
Slumber, unencumbered and contented and ever strong:

Transacted: Picked.