Barriers
by Loretta Diane Walker


That makes me as happy as hash browns and brownies.
--Jeremy Witherspoon

His four year old smile is the flesh of innocence
while he dangles his legs like a ragdoll.
The view from his mother’s hip is better,
the world safer, kinder, smaller near her heart.
To see the sky with arms wrapped around her neck
is happiness like hash browns and brownies.
Not like the taste of fear in my mouth
as I watch this politician running with spite on his heels.
His words are harpoons aimed at the vulnerable.

How he desires to wash away the poor.
Sweep them under the stoop of arrogance.
Spray them with a hose of insignificance.
Let them drain into the sewage of nonexistence.
And those in the middle—the ones with two slices of bread
and no butter, he will instruct them to collect toothpicks
to build new cities.
Prick them with the points until blood fills
the cracks of division.
For those with enough but cannot buy a country,
what fate will he assign them?
If we all disappear, return to that place before conception
where earth and water are not separate,
what will be wealth’s measuring rod?

There is a green lady standing at the shore
with a flamed hand burning with hope,
broken shackles of oppression and cruelty at her feet.
Oh, how this soul desires to sit on her hip
and listen to the stories of dreams rolling in and out to sea.






Copyright 2019 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.