I knew her when I was younger,
she’d smile at me every morning
when we’d stand and talk to the flag
and the cross. She was so pretty,
adventurous and friendly,
the American Supermodel-in-training
who helped all the kids, even new ones
who transferred in.
Big boys mistook her friendliness,
twisting it into an unspoken promise
of a good ol’ time. They took her
in indulgent shows of power and possession.
When we were older, they perverted her,
trotted her around, showed her off,
gave her a new face, boobs and name.
My friend Freedom became Liberty,
and Liberty became so addled in the end,
she’d do whatever the big guys wished.
I barely recognized her in her obit.
You may have missed it, being so busy
doing whatever it is they let you do.
I’m told they laid her next to her mom,
who men used and scarred until she
was unrecognizable, too.
I wasn’t sure how I’d respond to Kellie Elmore’s prod based on a picture called “Fall of Liberty.” But, a free-write is always there for discovering what you didn’t know before you wrote it. It’s a weak metaphor, but this is what I came up with.