Thought Wars

Thought Wars

By: Shane Phipps

from behind imposing limestone walls

they prepare to build an army

steadfast

unwavering

unquestioning

perfectly trained soldiers

defenders of mythology

to make us great again

from within the hallowed chambers

they prepare for me a bucket

of high gloss white paint

they give me instructions 

for a few fresh coats 

to hide the imperfections

and sterilize the walls and floors 

make the children stand in single file

to receive their gruel from the common barrel

ladle it out in nice even portions

no salt

no pepper

no spice

from beneath the stained-glass dome

they prepare for me a muzzle

dish out only the sustenance we’ve approved

I’m told

or else

we will be watching you

if you defy us 

we will find out

and you will be sorry

but inside my classroom walls

I won’t be muzzled

I will not serve their spice-less gruel

I will provide a smorgasbord 

of truth

transparency

diversity

equity

productive struggle

independence

choice

freedom

true patriotism

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