The Trouble With Our State by Daniel Berrigan

The trouble with our state
was not civil disobedience
which in any case was hesitant and rare.

Civil disobedience was rare as kidney stone
No, rarer; it was disappearing like immigrant’s disease.

You’ve heard of a war on cancer?
There is no war like the plague of media
There is no war like routine
There is no war like 3 square meals
There is no war like a prevailing wind.

It flows softly; whispers
don’t rock the boat!
The sails obey, the ship of state rolls on.

The trouble with our state
— we learned only afterward
when the dead resembled the living who resembled the dead
and civil virtue shone like paint on tin
and tin citizens and tin soldiers marched to the common whip

— our trouble
the trouble with our state
with our state of soul
our state of siege

was
Civil
Obedience.