Not Rap not rock nor country twang, it’s Taps

played six years into our patio at sunset, the bugle taped

as clear and sorrowful as broken chairs at the kitchen table.

Now the neighbor’s added The Star Spangled Banner

at noon to blast pride into our hunkered-down hood.

Does he think we’ll rally, recruits against surgical masks

and gloves marching to the righteous support

of tear gas or rubber bullets maiming

peaceful protesters against police brutality?

Must be ex-military I think, unfairly, maybe

a supporter of the White House king of greed

shifting blame, tossing inarticulate grenades of hate

at anyone who contradicts his doctrine of degradation.

I could be wrong. Who is this neighbor I’ve never seen

who blasts musical messages across the arroyo

near the baby goats and burros I’d rather hear?

Does he assume we snap to attention, hands

slapped over hearts grieving the ragged flag of corporate

rule—seven million more Americans lost health insurance

last week, Corona cases overburdened Emergency Rooms

will treat. Between the gusting lyrics of patriotic zeal

and the jack hammer nattering away at caliche

in the accountant’s yard, there is no peace.

When the hundred and fifty thousand dead of this virus rise,

what ghost anthem will they sing?