This poem will not hold any tigers.
It will not raise up the union martyrs.
It won’t even solve the mystery of Nick Vathias’s
four-foot missing tombstone. It will not bring
Philip Murray back to Tiger Stadium
or the beaming mayor or the stirring benediction
from Rev. Scully, chaplain of the National Shrine
of St. Dymphna, Patroness of Sleepwalkers
and the Possessed.
This poem will not return the union to its heyday.
It will not de-greed the greedy CEOs.
It will not bring back the mills.
It will not bring back my father or my father’s
father. My father will never hear me say,
Don’t tell me Calzada was a nobody.
I don’t care if he was just standing there
in the crowd, that he had “no options
anyway” — that he couldn’t pass
like you with your good
I don’t care how measly his last breath was,
poor slob ambushed from behind. He was
there. He made the crowd.
And where were you, Hands-in-your-pockets,
when Patrolman “Submachine” Fellabom
gunned down some frightened unarmed man
for — what? — throwing a stone?
Where were you, Good Citizen Now-now-dear,
Trusty Foreman Yes-boss-yes-boss-yes?
Sue D. Burton | Gray Cat
Contents | Mudlark No. 60 (2015)