I see you, whipped hair and tears,
and imagine the staunchest among you
as having suffered
and swallowed so much that your are full --
all u can eat buffet full -- of what has been done
and you have lived with it so others should
live with it
for some greater good you see in your mind's eye.
And the others who followed
who fall asleep and gnash and rationalize
and gnash, I see your jaws knot as you speak
on TV. What is that ache that heaves
from time to time
in your clenched chests?
My first thought, always and again
is that he reminded you of your Daddy
or your grand daddy
or your uncle or your manager
or that boy
or that train conductor that time you traveled
alone from Alabama to Alabama
because no matter where you go in America
it's always still Alabama.