Monday Poem

Trying to make Sense of Red
—A Tennessee Cleanup

Its janitors are sweeping up its sins—
senators are on the floor with whisks and
fine-toothed combs. They crawl and sift,
scooping, collecting photographs
of those they’ve lynched
they cram them into
rubbish bins

before their kids get wind

they ban   their two-faced history,
they ban   before their children come to know,
they ban   before their jittering pot lid blows


maybe    they skew and hack the rules
..  ………  to save kids from what history shows,
maybe    they obfuscate for mercy’s sake,
maybe  before their children come to see and judge,
maybe.. .they’d rather have them shot in schools

Jim Culleny, 4/8/23