My country ’tis of thee

Empty, empty, of good or bad,
all equal before the sea-spattered
horizon, the pastures relentlessly
split open undone forever

I gaze on these at last remorse
the withering vine, the trodden soil
all witness to vanity, to regression

since times untold and form unbidden
horses fraught, thin bones straining
against what flesh remains.

As an infant, I was told how this
was my legacy, my inheritance,
all from the wrong ledger, it seems

The one beneath, the one unsmothered
despite the efforts of a cruel century,
the murder of compassion for fear of pain
the sacrifice of love for the comfort of predictability

Fools’ gold, dross, dust.

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