The Belgians

© By Boinkaz

A line of cars wait to turn left
held by a light,
trapped in amber for 60 million seconds
and I am thinking of you, Y & B.

You came from a country cut in two.
Rendered to cloth and coal
by the sharp teeth of the Ardennes.
Where epithets are murmured in anthracite
or blown from a tapestry of funneled trumpets
by a jewel-eyed lamb
off a cathedral wall.

You grew from the mountains of Wallonia
the last Belgians crawling out of the Napoleonic wars
You came from Liege,
or Luik as I like to call it in mocking Flemish.

Blown like leaf boulders
Tram-tracked tongues of street
taste its hills with potholes and papillae of traffic barriers.

Your art sprung from bushes of song in a field of bass guitars.
Now potted in an allotment of carpet in a ribbon of houses fronting woods.

The wind tossles hanging baskets
like a hand through your son’s hair
as you survey immigrant’s America.
Where if you work hard
and straighten out your Rs
it can be all yours.

I sit and ponder relic America
like Leopold II,
disgusted by the loss of Congo
as my personal property.

It’s as if a wedgie has been pulled on
on the lawns of suburban ranch houses.
Fields, once gowns
became boxers,
then ordered briefs
and soon they will be thongs
worn by an embarassed youth
who gamely toss a beachball
in the windy beach off Oostende.
What in England they call gardens.

You came to us and were such good friends.
Life has been very hard
but not for you.
the new Americans.
You were rewarded for your faith.

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5 thoughts on “The Belgians

  1. Really enjoyed this…my grandmother (dad’s mom came to America from Belgium when she was a little girl but I never met her. I wish I could speak to her. Thanks.

  2. Ha! I’m one quarter Belgian (German speaking minority).

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