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MOTHER LIBERTY by CLS Ferguson

On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College to become our President-Elect, at the absolute shock of most of the country...

The same day, a person close to me, who I have always loved dearly, experienced a bit of a break with reality. The cracks I saw forming in my friend’s life with those closest to them mirrored the chasms forming in our ever more polarizing nation. I had just recently become a mother, and all of the tension in my friend’s life and the nation made my mind spin over the world my daughter had just been born into. I imagined Lady Liberty as a kind of mother to us, and how she might react, unable to believe the country she had watched over so long changing in ways she could not grasp.




Mother Liberty
by CLS Ferguson

Mother Liberty has lost her mind
There's something infiltrating
the system in her brain
that usually separates right and wrong, logic and farce
Right around where so many have tread,
at the front of her head, behind her crown

Perhaps her madness is from her father,
fathers really
no one knows which is really responsible
They all had in common a bit of madness
Abusing Liberty's natural born children,
then forcing her to adopt foreign kids she hadn't ever met

Mother Liberty always sought
the right man to be her partner
She had man after man
They started out more old fashion, racist, sexist
But got a little better each time
Every divorce left her heart a bit worse off than the one before
Each new marriage a bit of hope
at least on the groom's side
It got worse when she and Dad divorced

Now all Mother Liberty sees is orange
She's cut off her children, natural born and adopted
She refuses to speak to her best friends
And no one can speak anything real to her
She just keeps standing, green and slightly rusted
Denying anything has changed

Her children of color march because
Liberty’s police were killing them
Her natural born children dance in traditional dress
Her daughters march, some for her daughters born,
whose rights were threatened
Some for her daughters yet to be born,
whose right to live was threatened

All her children cry out to her
"We need you, Mother Liberty!"
She won't respond
"Don't you want to be a part of your grandchildren's lives?"
"Send me pictures," she says, and just keeps looking eastward.


Photography by Cat Gwynn 
CLS Ferguson, PhD is a communication professor at Mt. San Antonio College and California State University, Northridge.  She paints, sings, acts, models, produces independent films, and has published many academic articles and two academic books.  Her portrayal of The Black Rose in Silence, which she also co-wrote and produced, earned her a best actress award and a best film award at the LA Neo Noir Festival. Her music video, Secrets & Lies recently earned accolades on the indie film circuit.  CLS has published poetry in Shangri-La Shack, Still Points Quarterly, PQLeer, Dirty Chai, Sheepshead Review, Drunk Monkeys, and other places. Her poetry collection, God Bless Paul is out on Rosedog Books and her co-authored chapbook, The Way We Were with JC Jones is out on Writing Knights Press.  She and her husband, Rich are raising their daughter, Evelyn and their Bernese Mountain Border Collie Mutt, Sadie in Alhambra, CA. You may visit her website here. 


~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!

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