Carrie Onder
Let Freedom Ring (. . . Could You Hold,
Fredrick Linnabary

The adolescent dream is freedom.
The freest time of our
Life is when we are ambling
Children. And when, as adolescents we
Frog-march toward adulthood, we
Yearn back to the carefree
Times of childhood. So when we
Graduate into young adulthood, we
Unloose pent wildness,
Rebel against the chained-down world we
Thrust and are thrust into. As we
Forge and are forged through life, and settle
Down, seemingly beaten into obedience,
Accede to exigencies of existing in our
Restraining culture, the dream never dies even as we
Market our
Bodies and our
Minds to the highest bidder,
Or the only bidder
(As the case may be), we
Cry “Freedom!” We
Grumble on about our
Freedom to do this and our
Freedom to say that, even while we
Slave away for our
Employers (even if it is we
Who seem to be our
Employers), in order to support our
Families, in order to please our
Parents and our friends,
In order to be acceptable mates,
Or simply to be allowed
To go on existing. We
Are all-round connected;
And connection is not-freedom:
It isn’t even voluntary.

Few humans are free
Of the need for the other,
As a friendship source,
As an energy source,
As a sexual love source,
As a care giving source when we
Grow old or ill. We
Whisper “freedom”
Even as we hug our
Children, pat our
Pets, drink a latté. If we
Really wanted freedom, we
Would throw off our
Chains, renounce all bonds
Of friendship, kith and kin. We
Would wander the earth,
Unconcerned for our
Needs, unconcerned for the boundaries
Others would impose on us. We
Would eat whatever fell before us—
Rendered itself up to us,
Lie down where sleep took us,
And perish where we fell. We
Would become like children.

But rather when we
Roar “Freedom!” we
Seek to keep what we
Have, to maintain our
Possessions and our
Comfortable ways. We
Want to rid our several selves
Of parasitic threats to
Our self-securing wealth and our
Chosen form of slavery. We
Seek not to roam free,
Seek only familiar cares,
Death-grip to retain our
Familiar entanglements.
My family.
My religion.
My language.
My avocations.
My vices.
My loves.
My hates.
My truths.
My delusions.
My. Mine.