An Uprooting Wind

Anthony Wade
Liberty's battle standards
flew in 1776 and 1944
on the hot winds of defiance
against authoritarian aggression,
and are fluttering again over Kyiv,
defending the claimed right of persons
to subsume in part their I into the We
for mutual support in a shared identity,
whether of family, faith, belief or nation.

Yet in other countries there blows a cold wind
of the increasing many who variously reject the We,
who applaud the flouting of constitutional conventions,
deny the validity of elections, welcome division in society,
sneer at patriotism and despise national institutions,
cancel the right of free speech other than their own,
challenge scientific facts as oppressive fiction,
each following a wind that hollows out
the agreed concord of the nation.

And like any hollowed out tree,
how long can the We then stand?
***
____________________________________

An Uprooting Wind

Liberty's battle standards
flew in 1776 and 1944
on the hot winds of defiance
against authoritarian aggression,
and are fluttering again over Kyiv,
defending the claimed right of persons
to subsume in part their I into the We
for mutual support in a shared identity,
whether of family, faith, belief or nation.

Yet in other countries there blows a cold wind
of the increasing many who variously reject the We,
who applaud the flouting of constitutional conventions,
deny the validity of elections, welcome division in society,
sneer at patriotism and despise national institutions,
cancel the right of free speech other than their own,
challenge scientific facts as oppressive fiction,
each following a wind that hollows out
the agreed concord of the nation.

And like any hollowed out tree,
how long can the We then stand?
***
____________________________________

Bio: Anthony Wade, a Forward Prize nominee, has published in poetry magazines in Ireland, Britain, India and the US (including Setu Bilingual), in print and online. Irish, he lives by the sea in East Cork and is an active member of the local Writers’ Group. twitter.com@anthonywadepoet: Anthony Wade, a Forward Prize nominee, has published in poetry magazines in Ireland, Britain, India and the US (including Setu Bilingual), in print and online. Irish, he lives by the sea in East Cork and is an active member of the local Writers’ Group. twitter.com@anthonywadepoet

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