Photo by: Susan Jaffer
Every Sunday, I came dressed in punk rocker black,
checkered pants, steel-toed Docs.
No tie dye on me when I joined
the Chester County Peace Movement.
I lined up at the corner of High and Market,
still and silent, even when City Hall suits sneered hippies,
the Chester County Victory Movement chanted troop-
the families in SUVs blared horns and shouted unpatriotic.
High-gel hair attorneys glared.
Some protestors stepped back and whispered,
Is he here to join us or blow up the courthouse?
But my combat boots hadn't marched on the sands of Iraq.
I was always the one to break up brawls,
mute my guitar if circle pits exploded into fights.
As protestors marched and sang
Dylan's prophetic "The Times They Are A Changin'"
and Lennon's piano-laced "Imagine,"
I heard the words of Joe Strummer:
You'll be dead when your war is won,
and Dead Kennedys' singer Jello Biafra:
There's easy money, easy jobs,
especially when you build the bombs
that blow big cities off the map.
I stood still even when pushed
by a Victory Movement thug jabbing
his finger in my chest and screaming,
You don't have the balls to fight in Iraq!
I plugged my ears with my I-pod and listened
to Henry Rollins roar over sloppy Black Flag chords:
Try to stop us. It's no use.
We're gonna rise above, rise above.
Used by permission.
Brian Fanelli resides in Pennsylvania and teaches creative writing at Keystone College. His poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Harpur Palate, The Portland Review, Solstice Literary Magazine, San Pedro River Review, Red Rock Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of one chapbook, Front Man, and his first full-length collection will be published in 2013 through Unbound Content. A contributing editor to Poets' Quarterly, Brian has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and has done readings throughout the tri-state area.