Domination and death, prayers and protests. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine said more than 200 years ago. And some one 100 or so years later, a lady came to these shores, saying, “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
Today her people cry, I can’t breathe.
Exiled at Home
by Paul G. Charbonneau
Lady Liberty no longer stands.
She sits alone now, some would say
beaten by her caretakers, chained
to a rock pile of broken promises.
This maternal archetype
of our better angels
weeps, her radiant head buried
in her hands, her role repealed.
This American Rachel aches
for her children and grandchildren
as sparks from that fallen torch set fire
to her dearly held book of self-evident truths.
Its pages wind-swept, rumpled and soiled,
articles of faith and hope turn to ash
while her children holler in pain,
driven apart by sibling rivalry.
How will she stand again,
stride across the land with confidence
and call her offspring to reconcile
for their sake and hers?
Lady Liberty never thought for a moment
that she would hold her light alone. Family
would support her, keep her torch burning
for all peoples, all generations.
Paul Charbonneau lives in Rockport