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The Homeland Security Guard

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By Edward Curtin

HOMELAND SECURITY ...
HOMELAND SECURITY ...
(Image by mrbill78636)
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"We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland." Adolph Hitler

By accident, by chance,
By secret foolish choice,
He fell into this job
As a security guard,
Protecting a phony past
That never existed.
A mausoleum of a museum
Housing Norman Rockwell's
Perverse hallucinations.
The Four Freedoms stolen
When he was asleep,
The Patriot Act boys
Absconding in the night.

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All that he truly hated
Hung in this house of horrors,
Home to nostalgic kitsch
Where he spent endless quiet
Nights in a protection racket.
Like so much else in life,
He couldn't imagine it
Until he was in it, like others
Dwelling in illusions.
Was this his life or what
He thought his life should be?

Don't ask. Let me tell you this
Much depended on nothing.
He didn't know and not
Knowing was nothing new to him.
He never knew despite years
Wasted in the pursuit of what
Can laughingly be called
Security. As if God had
Anything to do with that.
It's easy enough to snicker
At stupidity as common as this.
Who hasn't wanted to know
In advance what life would bring
As a way of not feeling
What life has earlier brought?
Who's wanted to know
The hard truth of how
We've been locked out of
This country once called home
Of the free and the brave?
Who hasn't retold the past
In false and sentimental gestures?
Who hasn't spent endless nights
In pursuit of someone else's dreams,
The images of false lives
Lived inside the picket fences
Of a Norman Rockwell nightmare?

A free man has no habits,
While he thought repeating
The past disguised as its
Negation could erase
The truth of his childhood,
His country's slow descent
Into smiley-faced fascism.
Ignorance is no excuse,
Nor knowledge sought to choke
A desperado's angry cry.
There's no place to hide,
Not in the amnesiac's
Fog, nor in an old house
Rehabbed and haunted by
The phony need for security.
As if art had anything
To do with that. As if truth
Were unspeakable and we,
Struck dumb by fear, dwell
In the fabricated homeland
Of security.

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http://www.edwardcurtin.com/

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/


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