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North American Dreaming: Black Boots Remembered

...Those black boots,
Yes I remember,

Counting them in flag draped coffins;
U.S.A. stamped on the bottom,
Black and bloodied,

Strong and sturdy still....

William Burkholder's powerful poem is a tribute to the free democratic men who wore those boots.

Black boot prints;
They were the first thing
I saw on the door,

As the ratcheting of handcuffs,
That sound,
Reached my ears.

The free man,
The democratic man,
Was being led away
To a terrorist's gallows;

A dictators pulpit,
To be bandied as the
Sacrificial Mutt.

But Mutts have teeth;
They have been known
To slip their chains.

Thoroughbreds,
Rearing hind leg,
And pissing on,

The feet,
The foundations of,
Fascist ideal,

Of mustachioed,
Uniform clad
Rats.

Aye I remember,
The black boot prints,
I remember the boots,

We used them to knock down
A German wall;
Russian Built,

I remember,
The ratcheting of those handcuffs;
Slipped over the wrist of a Panamanian,

Binding his drugged dirty hands.
Those black boots,
Yes I remember,

Counting them in flag draped coffins;
U.S.A. stamped on the bottom,
Black and bloodied,

Strong and sturdy still.
Foot prints that any good man would walk in.
Those damn black boots,

Spit shined to high gloss,
Measured steps, clicking,
At the Tomb of the Unknown,

Remembering,
Honoring,

Their footsteps.

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