Poem: That Was Long Ago

The histories of the lands in which we live catch up with us.

That Was Long Ago

These Czechs, our friends
    hung in the balance,
    looking West in 1938
    and Chamberlain turned his back
But that was long ago
Too long for backpacks to remember
    a time before their time

These Czechs, our friends
    took Chamberlain’s bullet
    for seven long years
    in darkness and sweat and fear
But maybe that was long ago as well
    and if they trusted us briefly again,
    then this time Truman turned away

These Czechs, our friends
    were sold out twice within ten years
    and each time from the West
    and our band played, our flag flew elsewhere
But maybe that was long ago
    and McDonalds is reparation enough
    for three generations dealt away at conferences

These Czechs, our friends
    hung in while we hung out,
    for fifty years and then took to the streets
    to take their country back
Not all that long ago, unless you had to wait
And if their smiles are thin now, looking West,
    we might be grateful there are smiles at all
Poetry Collection: Corner of My Mind
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection

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