Watching men from Ecuador and Senegal
play football in Qatar from a bar in Ireland
this poet from the United States
acknowledges his decadence.

Fortune kissed my forehead at birth
when I came out white, straight and male
in America.

I can take my freedom for granted,
unlike my sisters in Iran
who cannot choose what they wear,
unlike my gay siblings in Qatar
who cannot share who they love,
unlike my nieces and nephews back home
who are dying in schools and bars
for my so-called freedom.

Freedom is not gun with six bullets.
Freedom is not a bottle of wine
that empties with each glass.
Freedom is a flame.
A flame that when shared
makes the whole world
warmer and brighter.

And like those players,
running on green grass in the desert
we should each be free to pursue
our goals

but unlike at the World Cup
we can all win.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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18 Responses to Goals

  1. JeanMarie says:

    I think we can all win, jf people who have so much more than most agree to settle for less.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the acknowledgement of privilege. And “freedom is a flame”. The whole world is burning with that flame it seems. I don’t think we have freedom here because if we do why do I always feel so paranoid? Between gun violence, hate crimes, earth rapers, the tyranny of the elite, and etc, etc, etc, I think we need to turn that flame up higher. But I love the poem.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. berniebell1955 says:

    Mostly poetry….including yours….


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Sunflower Sessions Open Mic | Bartholomew Barker, Poet

  5. ts19page says:

    It is easy to appreciate the cosmopolitan world citizen the first paragraph illustrates, a fitting verse for our times. It is also difficult to write about a pain that does not touch one personally, therefore this comes across as a compassionate outreach to others, and you could say that freedom without compassion is of no use to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

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