Exiled at Home

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 3:30pm

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in her hands, her role repealed.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.  


Without ceasing.


Paul Charbonneau lives in Rockport