No Il­lea­gles Here

Spray painted on the side of a build­ing

New England Review - - Table of Contents - Nick Lantz

Yes, I too would ban­ish the sickly ea­gles, roosted in their brown­stones and dou­ble wides, their ranch homes and Mcman­sions, pick­ing nits from their wings, brood­ing their bad eggs. They learned about com­pas­sion from the fox that flees the hen­house with blood on his lips, so how can they be ex­pected to feel what the fish feels when it is swept from the river in their bright claws?

On TV, an ea­gle com­plains about the crows that have moved in, how they mob him now on the street. So what if his fa­ther, and his fa­ther's fa­ther, et al., raided their nests, killed their young? That was the past, and at least he works for a liv­ing.

He teaches his sons the val­ues of per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity, how to cra­dle the butt of a Bush­mas­ter M4 Car­bine against the shoul­der, how to stand their ground. He bows his sharp beak over the sup­per ta­ble, speaks words soft as ei­der down. He votes his con­science, has heart-to-hearts with his god. He sees what the world is com­ing to. On his week­ends he paces the capi­tol lawn, hold­ing a hand­made sign: “If your not out­raged your not pay­ing at­ten­tion.”

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