Thursday, November 6, 2008

Concession Speech

Want to know why we booed the moment you
Brought up the winner’s name? We booed because
That’s what we’ve done since you started campaigning.
We booed and hooted, shouted slurs and threats,
And you kept talking, so of course we kept
It up, like the punk kid who tests his teacher
By pushing at the envelope until
It breaks, or Teacher shuts him down in front
Of the whole class (which makes him like a hero).
That’s what we felt like when you finally
Called us on what we kept on yelling out.
And that’s just fine, okay? We understand.
No harm, no foul. We knew you had to do it
The moment that the Media reared up
And made a stink about it. So instead
Of talking smack, we muttered it, or nudged
Each other with a wink, or we just smiled
That smile we share when we know what we’re thinking.

No smiles like that tonight. We’re standing here
Listening to this pod person concede
As if it didn’t matter if we lost
To That One, and our jaws are on the floor.
We want to cheer; give us some lines to cheer.
We don’t know where to clap. What are you saying?
Why aren’t you feeding us the meal we want?
We want red meat, we want the grease, the fries,
The shot of Jack that makes your eyeballs sweat,
And here you are, serving us something healthy?
What the fuck, John? You spent the last two months
Outlining what the other guy will do
To us and to the country if he won,
And now you tell us “Sorry; never mind.
He won, so all that stuff takes second place
To the high office that he’ll occupy,
And you should give your loyalty to him.”
Oh yeah? Fuck him. And fuck you too for thinking
That this is why we voted for your ass.

Enough, okay? Enough about how wealthy
You feel because you fought the losing fight.
Only the poor are losers, and we didn’t
Support you to be poor –- we followed you
Because you told us what we had to hear
In words with secret meanings. So when you
Say “honor,” we don’t know what that word means.
There’s no honor in losing; what we did,
We did to win, and then claim victory
No matter what the outcome. That’s our way.
And you walked down that way with us, with your
Eyes open, so you know as well as we do
That this does not end here -- this fight goes on.
So why for Christ’s sake aren’t you saying that?

You have to tell us to fight on, and be
Guerillas for the Cause, not silent soldiers.
We want something to shoot at, not salute.
Tell us whatever way you want that you
Believe That One is not our President --
We’ll translate if we have to. Just don’t say
We owe him loyalty because a principle’s
At stake here. Principles are why we fight.
Tell us that he’s the enemy –- or if
He isn’t, then please, please tell us who is.
Just do not ask us here to follow you

Down to defeat, or off the center stage.
We do not follow men –- we march against them.
Run up the flag. Tell us who wants to burn it.
Show us the enemy. We’ll march that way.
We are the arrow. Point us at the target.
We are the bullet. Aim us at the heart.

Copyright 2008 Matthew J Wells

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