The Empire Always Comes Home


Have you seen Uncle Sam’s guard dog?
He got it back when he drove out the Brits
from our yard.

He kept it in case they tried to return
or if anyone else treaded onto our side of the fence.
For keeping us safe and free,
this dog had won our love and respect.

But then Uncle Sam descended into madness.
Convinced that all the neighboring yards belonged to him as well,
he trained his dog to snarl and attack our neighbors
under the pretense of home defense.

And as the years passed,
did this beast grow in size and scope.
And the guard dog needed increased feedings
to provide adequate defense, we were told.
But treading on the yards of our neighbors
does nothing to keep us safe.

Soon, our front yard stretched
from one end of the block to the other
And those not driven from the neighboring yards
were mauled by this so-called guard dog.
His lust for expansion unsatiated,
Uncle Sam coveted some yards far away from our block

One day, the guard dog that had been trained for so long
to attack nearly everyone it saw
eventually bit the hand that fed it.

It was then that we realized Uncle Sam
had planned this all along.
That what he did to others abroad
he’d ultimately do to us.

Domestic protectors received guard dog training
and weapons of war to subdue the enemy.
We soon became foreigners in our own yard,
all the while financing our own subjugation.

So when you cheer on the guard dog
as it is once again trotted over to someplace you
cannot find on a map
but you believe the narrative that those who live there
somehow mean us harm,
be mindful that today’s citizen
can become tomorrow’s enemy combatant.

Dear fellow American,
If you remember none else,
remember this:
the empire

Daniel Cuevas
Daniel Cuevas
After nearly a decade as a journalist in New York City, Daniel Cuevas now runs the Manchvegas Press in New Hampshire, and writes poetry for the page as well as the microphone.