The Defiance of Flowers

We are the generation with flowers in our hair.
Our defiant hair.
Our sexy hair.
Our streaming, flaxen, waxen
Together, we rang in the Age of Aquarius,
Ram Dass morphing out of the brain train
that was LSD, the world gone Walt Disney
without Mickey and Minnie,
the White Rabbit and Lucy in her bell bottomed jeans growing/
shrinking across diamond strewn skies.
We saw Haight-Ashbury birthed to die
then be reborn in our hearts as we carried
the freedom words with us...wrote them, sang them, spoke them
until ignorance could no longer be bliss.
We watched Watts burn, Chicago protesters
dragged off like so many sacks of grain,
Kent State students massacred by boys
trained at the knees of Big Brother to fear flower
filled rifles and those who stray from the bidden path.
We saw Camelot explode into a pink lap,
King's dream fall on a motel balcony
Lennon's imagination robbed of its body
but not of its soul.
We watched draft cards rise up in smoke
as our brothers, husbands, friends rode other winds
home from that war that murdered men's souls
long before bodies were crushed.
We saw Roe versus Wade free women from back alley
doctors and clothes hanger abortions,
those clinics later bombed, staff shot by zealots
whose gods decided which death was better than another, but 
too soon our shadows grow longer.
The end of the story dogs our footsteps
Its breath blows hot on our necks, already thinning our ranks like a sniper.
We hope our voices will be embedded into the stream of time,
become graffiti scrawled as signposts along the hopeful skyways.
We hope we will be remembered as the generation that did not
go silently into that dark night, our trousers rolled,
tossing our Prufrock shunned peaches to the jackals and hungry lions.

Pris Campbell

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(portions of the italicized lines come from the lyrics of Hair)

Cast of Hair...Sixties San Francisco