ONE NATION, INDIVISIBLE

a postage stamp of skinny metal
[with name and address there embossed]
to slip between a toddler’s teeth
so tiny corpses don’t get lost:
my country loves to scare her own
near witless – keep ’em docile, coast
to coast  [so no one dare to pick a bone]
as mute as if they’d seen a ghost;
there was a time [pre-Syngman Rhee]
we didn’t need Poseidon’s clan –
we pledged allegiance, you and me,
sans  Allah, Abba, Peter Pan;
inserting “god” in fact defied
our constitution to the letter –
Hitlerean** the claim god’s on our side…
I frankly liked the old pledge better;
        patriot I am – although I choose
        a rugless life beyond the pews

In February of 1952 NYC bought 2.5 million dog tags. By April, just about every kid in the city from kindergarten to fourth grade had one.

** Nazi military emblem: Gott mit uns – god with us

1892 “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Minor changes in 1922 and 1923, and then from 1924 to 1954

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

since 1954 “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all

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