Yearning to Be Free

When I was in the army as a young recruit
and not a little bit naïve about
the country I was living in, I’d shoot
my mouth off apropos of some rash lout
who made the news inside the Stars and Stripes.
For he’d been charged with murdering a girl
outside the base. I took some verbal swipes
at him like some untutored churl.
A soldier more enthralled by rule of law
averred that everyone deserved his day
in court and not by way of tooth and claw.
He made me less ashamed than glad to lay
my liberty in democratic lands
like those where exiles’ mother proudly stands.

Years later in the comfort of this home
when people started throwing stones at it,
and turned its stalwart walls to Styrofoam
before a mesmerized electorate,
I feared that Lady Liberty, had palled.
Infatuated by her pride of place,
it seemed her bold inscriptions were recalled,
and with mascara running down her face
she fled into the arms of firebrands
who promised her a less restricted life.
With loose behavior and some one-night stands
she met some dudes who claimed her as their wife.
with militant assertions scarcely heard
in wars where fighting men had been interred

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey and worked for many years in New York City. He loves music from Bach to Shakira to Amy Winehouse. Frank also attends a Café Philo in Lower Manhattan every other week, and a poetry workshop which are now, since Corona, ZOOM events. Read other articles by Frank.