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Redmen

Redmen

Poem Published at Smashwords by Sean Sullivan

Copyright 2015 Sean Sullivan

Other Works by Sean Sullivan

Poems:

The Autumn Moth

Autumn Aquatic

Banners

Darwin’s Door

Dear Jane Doe

Fall of the Raccoon

Final Draft

First Steps

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Mall Birds

Monument

New England Man

The Painted Barn

Sideshow Joe

The Spear

Storm

Sunrise

The Temple

The Tooth Fairy

Translation

Vine of Mine

While You’re Sleeping

Short Stories:

The Old Lady

REDMEN

 

In a small and proud New England town

One of fervent football fandom and fame

All my fellows donned a collective frown

Certain things would never be the same

A bored busybody came nosing around

Stumbled upon our team’s storied name

Disturbing, treading on hallowed ground

Called Redmen callous, cause for shame

 

Here appeared many a lazyboy logician

Convening his own street-corner conclave

In hardened defense of tribe and tradition

Our town’s tender, threatened soul to save

 

But by our betters was it wisely decreed

Our elders’ edict heard throughout the land

Of girding irons were the Redmen freed

And the very word was henceforth banned

 

Fare thee well! moniker of much affection

For we seemed to know not what we do

Alas! prized public displays of complexion

Your days upon our jerseys are through

 

Here began a reluctant wringing of hands

Our discourse of denial, backlash of blame

Bitter, belated goodbye to a beloved brand

To which townsfolk still lay jealous claim

 

Yea flee while ye may, oh erstwhile mascot

Get thee good and gone, fly free, far afield

Your former masters would see you caught

Snug in that collar and once again heeled

 

Here was a passing and precious chance

For compassion, sense, a moment when

We might have risen tall to circumstance

But friends, this is now and that was then

 

There’s good cause for feeling ill at ease

Behind us, a well-trodden trail of tears

Genocide through war, eviction, disease

A narrative nearing four-hundred years

 

But forget that nagging, national disgrace

Leave bothersome history and facts aside

Fight on! persecuted and noble paleface!

In this Battle of White and Wounded Pride

 

In our era of ennui, this angst-addled age

How we revel playing at pomp and pretense

Oh! to monologue and stride about the stage!

Animated from affected outrage and offense

 

And truth be told, here I offer confession

On first hearing the team’s name under fire

I in reflex rejected the slightest concession

And likewise lashed out with impetuous ire

 

Yet soon my errant emotions made mutiny

They all vanished, vaulting from the deck

Under their captain’s reasoned scrutiny

Who steered his ship from rocky wreck

 

For I pondered why this name should stand

Why no teams named yellow, black of face?

Bigotry and the bully, I came to understand

Disregard the dignity of any vulnerable race

 

Treasured traditions imbue no immunity

To that which is hurtful to hearts and ears

May no measure of pride imply impunity

From the progress and persuasion of years

 

What eternal example we might have made

To relent somewhat, stand above the fray

Had been consideration and class displayed

And mere embarrassment not won the day

 

Much thanksgiving to a thoughtful minority

Gratitude for guidance when we lost our way

For thus braving the tyranny of this majority

When we were wont to wander further astray


Redmen

  • ISBN: 9781310581403
  • Author: Sean Sullivan
  • Published: 2015-09-06 17:04:51
  • Words: 551
Redmen Redmen