Jun03 – Nathan Cocker (Poetry 365)


The Battered Mannequin

"She" leans nonchalantly on a lamp post 
in her fancy shoes. The rubble around "her" includes 
both "her" arms. "Her" breasts are shot off, 
"her" head is dented; This civil war has killed 

"her" trade. Now, "her" display is not new 
clothes. They were all stolen, along with 
"her" dignity, by rampaging looters jumping 
through stoned glass windows.

"Her" best friend lies beside "her" 
in the dirt. Her torn clothes flap 
open in the wind, but, her dignity 
is much worse than the mannequin's.

The soldiers guard her rear.
It lies in a puddle beside them.
Their weapons point skyward
ready to wound her further.

More smoke and tear-gas drift by
and approaching rumbling tank 
tracks are heard as it heads towards 
the mannequin, not seeing "her".

Then, "she" is down, with "her" friend,
and the iron tracks crush her resistance,
quell "her" rebellious streak, silence
"her" model yielding pose.

U.S. Navy sailors and Latino youths clash in the Zoot Suit Riots, which began today in 1943.

The Government of China begins removing protesters by military force from Tiananmen Square, today in 1989.

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