These Colors

Written Memorial Day 2015

These colors don’t run

the world

said my friend Zoe

when she was just a girl

with flowers in her hair

staring at the sign

a man was holding

at Copley Square

as events were unfolding

and we were heading to war

she asked her mother

what those words

on the sign he held

were for

“These colors don’t run”

she asked

“What do you think it means”

asked her mom

“These colors don’t run the world?”

responded my friend

to her mother

when she was just a girl

and then she wrote those words

on her own sign

and got to the front

of a line

of people protesting

on both sides

though of course

more were there

in support of war

though they knew not

what was in store

and I find it

very interesting

that when I was a little kid

I was cheering on

what the government did

not questioning


not lamenting

not wondering

what some words mean

just nodding at the newsman

on the TV screen

always agreeing

with the teachers

not questioning

the preachers

oh, I wish I was

home schooled

like my friend was

thirsting for knowledge

and truth as a kid

like it was some sort of drug

but when her parents taught her

to question everything

there I was in public school

pledging my allegiance daily

and learning to sing

an anthem

written for the flag

I learned to treat like a God

but it was always just a rag

colored red by rivers

running deep with blood

since day one

running towards

the setting sun

illuminating amber

waves of grain

stained blue

from the tears of mothers

and widows

whose blue stars still hang

from living room windows

though they were replaced

with stars of gold

when uniformed men came

and told

how Uncle Sam

was sorry for their loss

it’s just the cost

of war

cost of democracy

and freedom

and that is

the little white lie

that rounds out the three

colors of the flag

and oh say I can see

these colors running

every time companies

manufacture bombs

and guns

and stocks rise

and more companies realize

that there’s money to be made

not caring that the real price

is paid in the lives

of our own

and those we pretend

not to know

anything about

their screams and cries

drowned out

by the Wall Street bell

but the red runs deeper

from all those who fell

victim to this game

and the technology

and the places

and the excuses change

but its the exact same


after war

and still more knocks

on still more doors

change those blue stars

to gold

almost as if our sons

and daughters

were sold

to the highest bidder

and we get bitter

when we realize

though it should come

as no surprise

that these were far more

than little white lies

told by the same old

white guys

who wrote our history books

and who are still adding

new chapters

day after day

year after year

war after war

telling us who to fear

teaching us to want more

all in the name of democracy

and freedom

when they say

“These colors don’t run”

it sure seems like a re-run

because we’ve seen this all before

we all know whats in store

more and more bombs

and more and more war

more and more knocks

on more and more doors

more and more refugees

who can’t take anymore

leading to more and more hate

and more and more war

this is not our fate

if we can choose to ignore

the newsmen

and the preachers

the politicians

and the teachers

lets free our minds

like little kids

and speak the truth

like my friend Zoe did

when she was a little girl…

lets realize that these colors

don’t have to run

the world.


















About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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