Happy Birthday I Hate It Here

Lucie Grant

When hundreds of miles shrink under one roof the tension in my throat is laid bare

I am not your marble bust above the fire

The shining far off beacon of your benevolence

I am instead a raving monster, screaming creature who bristles and cringes at your practiced assuaging words

I am without substance

A mirror with which you judge yourself

I am the cruel beast who laughs when you are weighed and found wanting

Destroy me, calm your guilty chest, and forget my condemnations

When history is righted an the poised hammer strikes

When you find yourself on the wrong side of the battle lines and the guns are trained on you

Remember the monstrous who walked among you once

Who cried out for help

And as the order is gonna given and the rifles are shouldered for the last time,