They are good people: Mind their own business
save for a kind word over white pickets.
They rake leaves promptly and maintain their lawn.
They keep their dogs from barking too loudly.
They tithe to the church, go every Sunday
and bring that casserole everyone likes.
The men doff their hats as they pass you by.
The women give gentle waves, like butterflies.
In public, always impeccably dressed,
in private always frugal, never loud.
They are good people: All of us say it.
They uphold convention, support the old
and rake their leaves as their neighbor is shot.
Make a casserole as their hairdresser
is corralled behind concertina wire.
They silently judge the loud-speaking women,
and say: Maybe you shouldn’t wear that scarf.
Maybe accept Jesus. What does it hurt?
Maybe you shouldn’t speak up for your “rights.”
Go home. Rake leaves. Make a casserole.
They say: Don’t worry. We will survive this.
The good people always do; it’s the loud
and the brown and the different who don’t
and nothing will change for the good people
because it’s the good people uncoiling
the rope they so carefully set aside
in their clean carport. (You can eat off the floor!)
It’s the good people selecting the tree.
Don’t worry: the good people are holding
the guns. They care for them, like the mower:
impeccably. The good people keep their
uniforms clean, crisp and fresh in waiting.