John Q. Mars
The Brothers’ War
Big Brother has never been too fond of me.
I remember a time when I fell down
and, as I lay there, on the ground,
I asked “B-big Brother . . . w-won’t you take my hand?”
But all he did was stand and stare.
My Big Brother left me there.
Now that I have grown, forced
to think on my own, I realize
that Big Brother taught me a lesson that day.
I learned that we live in war times and that I
must fight and find my own way.
So each morning I wake up and pray,
hoping that I will live to see another day,
and pull up my bootstraps
before setting out—dodging the booby traps
that lie in my path.
The battleground is full of sounds,
murmured microaggressions all around,
resounding with the rumbling thunder
of police boots, with scorched earth thereunder,
and the lightning cracks
of legislation, executively whipped out
at breakneck pace.
And during one particularly stormy scene,
I turn to see Big Brother standing before me—
wearing the colors of the enemy.
Heartbroken, I try to ask why,
to find out how he could defy
a trust I thought we had compiled
over the course of our lives.
But before a single word is uttered,
before any curse or plea I have the chance to mutter,
he strikes me. Though through the warm,
metallic taste I manage to stutter:
“Th-the world will not s-st-stand for this . . .
the f-fruits of her toils
—all of her s-sp-spoils—
being sent into this abyss.
Sh-she will not stand idly by
and watch you distort the m-m-minds
of many w-with lies.
Th-there will be a reckoning
in which the ghosts of your past will come, b-beckoning
for you to join them in this hellfire you have made
as we rise to heights untold;
and, O my Brother, you will enviously behold
the splendor of our rightfully gained freedoms.
This is the future and, here, it has been foretold.”
To my words Big Brother pays no mind,
a slight smile playing on his lips as he walks on by;
but it will be this very blood-stained proclamation
on which I build a foundation.
There will be a nation that rises high,
in which—every day—the people will have cause for celebration.
As we will no longer merely survive, but thrive,
in this brave, new world.
John Q. Mars is an undergraduate student at New York University in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He is concentrating in poetry, philosophy, and foreign languages. This is his first poetry publication.
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