Ethan Running Scared

Ethan Alden woke up,
no longer in the 6th grade
looking at the map
as Hitler advanced across Europe

He was in another century
and his homeland too was exceptional,
bringing law and order to the nations.
Are we so superior
that we should command the world?

Ethan shook himself
as if he was having a bad dream,
as if shaking would stop
such a dangerous train of thought.

His doubts ran to the settlers
who saw and seized empty land
killing the natives —
the buying and selling of slaves —
Hir’oshima Naga’saki Viet’nam.

Ethan was scared.
He had to hide his thoughts
of the public good, freedom,
defense of the nation, justice.
He had become Enemy of the People.

Robert A. Davies has published in recent years largely online. He has been writing poems seriously since 1969. He has published Timber, Tracks in Oregon, Melons and Mendelssohn, and Bluff Hollow. He was co-editor of Mr. Cogito for about 20 years. He has recently appeared in Dissident Voice and Windfall He can be reached at: Read other articles by Robert A..