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Poetry Prose and Other Words

by Ken Ingham

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Freedom

Freedom is a rich and powerful word
Connoting a lack of constraint, a feel
Of being in charge, out from under
As when driving my first automobile
Oh what I’d give for one clear photo
Of myself behind the wheel
Of that 1954 Customline Ford
And close by my side, that beautiful girl

I’ve had liberty all my life
Some would say I don’t deserve it
Having protested against wars
That they said were fought to preserve it
Now my country has invaded another
In the name of freedom (in retrospect)
While freedom at home has been diminished
By “signing statements” and the Patriot Act

Oh purple mountains, travesties
Clear cut, pushed over, tops removed
Freedom of enterprise and LLC’s
Of this I disapprove:
This filling in of creeks and streams
This ravaging of the land
This manifestation of lack of esteem
For the perfect work of a slow steady hand

Don’t lecture me about fighting for freedom
It’s a concept I have long understood
While fighting construction of another beltway
Mansionization of my neighborhood
While working on the grass roots campaign
Of a candidate of my persuasion
This is freedom. This is my right.
This is my obligation.