Happy Thanksgiving


A Simple Holiday Poem
By Ron Olsen

They shut down the 101
The Harbor Freeway’s closed
Out of respect for Michael Brown
A human blockade imposed

Another black youth
Shot and killed
With impunity or without
Does it really matter now?
He’s dead you know
“Burn it down” the rioters shout

An expression of pain we’ve heard before
The Los Angeles riots II
A smaller version of a similar thing
Racial animus through and through

Why don’t we learn?

And on TV they yell at me
About Bill Cosby’s sins
16 women raped, they say
By a man who smiles and grins

They’ve stolen our father
A TV figure, true
But our father nonetheless
If Heathcliff Huxtable is corrupt
What’s left for all the rest?

Overseas an ocean of refugees
Created by the wars we’ve started
Punctuated by the spread of Ebola germs
Leaving Africa dire and downhearted

Israel and Palestine continue to kill
Is this how far we’ve come?
With no solution other than death
For decades still undone?

We watch with horror gang rape in Delhi
In Arabia,  women stoned by men
Eclipsed only in scale by  Wall Street’s lust
Numerical greed times ten times ten

Around the corner ISIS lurks
Demanding the world’s attention
Like a child blind with rage
Seized by a tantrum’s intention

And Putin and Cruz and Kim Jong Un
Political crazies all
Dictate our futures while like Rome
We wait for the Forum to fall

Why don’t we learn?

Don’t put your faith in people my friends
Disappointment is sure to follow
Any reality check you choose
Will leave you feeling hollow

Thanksgiving I think should be replaced
By a day of contemplation
About somehow fixing the mess we’ve made
As the world’s most powerful nation

One thought on “Happy Thanksgiving”

  1. Very good work, Ron. Two or three times a year I read poetry at the Blessing Well Gallery/Ben Around Books complex (Where Don Anderson had Been Franklin) Would it be okay to read this; it would be a small group, 15-20 people. I would, of course, identify you as the poet.

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