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Shampoo-Conditioner (A Poem of Protest and Resistance)
By Kurt Luchs
How much we are fallen off from the greatness
of former times! This fallacious hybrid
pretends to do two things but does neither
well, or at all. It does not cleanse.
It cannot smooth. It clings like glue
and leaves us poorer than we started,
only now with a sodden, unkempt mess
where once was something shiny, bright
and manageable. It doesn't even rinse
honestly, this potion whose only magic
is to make everything worse. It makes me
even more ashamed to be an American,
if such a thing were possible.
When you see this compound lie, know that we
have utterly failed ourselves and our children.
It was a seemingly small task that was
asked of us, but we were not up to it,
we watchers on the wall that peer
over into a future diminished by just this much,
a little thing, yet everything that matters
is made up of a thousand little things
done with integrity and ingenuity
and pride, at the very least pride.
We settled for the easy deception,
the convenient prevarication.
Our fathers would have thrashed us senseless
before letting us descend into this abyss.
If we had any honor we would take the coins
saved by this abomination of desolation
and buy swords and fall on them.
Instead we stand in the shower blinking back
tears from the sting of a chemical
whose very name is an offense against
all that is holy. We have washed,
and yet somehow we are dirtier. And in place
of human hair we are covered in rotten straw
like the useless animals we have become.