by Stephen Masty
A mission for Amurika! That’s surely what we need!
A moral cause to save the world, a banner and a screed,
So thousands of Amurikans, in every foreign land,
Exacerbate the problems that we never understand.
A mission for Amurika! All spreading like a rash,
Our families pay the price, our politicians take the cash;
A mission for Amurika! A noble new crusade
To mask domestic failures that our decadence has made;
Amurika becomes, meanwhile, dead broke and second-rate
To hide our own incontinence and glorify the State.
No more do dour Yankees toil to build themselves a barn;
Nor Southerners a cotton mill to spin their local yarn;
Nor tanned Mid-Western farmers volunteer to dig a drain;
Nor ranchers, strong and silent men, protect the hill and plain;
Nor neighbours build a library, a town hall or a kirk;
Let someone do that for us; it is frankly too much work!
We will not stop our daughter getting pregnant as a teen,
Nor can we teach our younger ones what mathematics mean;
Nor switching off the boob-tube, nor snorting less cocaine,
Nor sweep our streets ourselves - they’re such a bother to maintain.
A mission for Amurika! All rally ‘round the flag!
Let others do it for us and success is in the bag!
We’ll pay it on our credit cards or write another check
And feel completely pious getting suntans on the deck;
To solve the Great Unsolvables, to cure all global ills,
We’ll watch another ballgame and we’ll pop a few more pills,
We’ll stagger to the ‘fridge and back, the better to ensure
That through it all we don’t recall the people that we were.
A mission for Amurika! They repossess the car
While we reflect, in glory, how exceptional we are.
A mission for Amurika? Through piggy, blood-shot eyes,
One look into the mirror tells us where the challenge lies.
Stephen Masty is a writer and artist.