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Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Times I've been mistaken

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I thought a bottle was a rat.

Weathered grey plastic, smashed flat.

Proof the mind can fill in details,

regardless of observable fact. 

 

I thought a bottle was a rat, 

But never thought this where we’d be at.

Hiding our fears and insecurities behind hate,

like a bald man wearing an angry hat.

 

I thought a bottle was a rat,

and thought this country was bigger than that.

Bleeding away our own promise and potential 

with shouted slogans tit for tat. 

 

I thought a balloon was a crow nest.

Tangled in high branches, deflated and distressed.

Only upon closer inspection could I just make out

the faded glimmer of a celebration long passed.

 

I thought a balloon was a crow nest,

thought this was a place huddled masses could rest.

Where the tired and poor could finally lay their burdens down,

and the sum of what we shared stronger than any test.

 

I thought a balloon was a crow nest.

I thought I could trust my eyes, but must sadly confess

The human mind is best at making its own realities.

And our minds are currently capable of only disquiet and unrest. 

 

I thought a bottle was a rat.

I thought a balloon was a nest were crows had sat.

I thought America had a heart, and a prayer of a chance.

I thought there was an arc of justice, but the world’s gone flat.

 

Clark Hays