Humanist Voices in Verse: “Left-wing Patriot” by Helen Bennett

This week’s poem is by Helen Bennett. Helen is the author of Humanism, What’s That? A Book for Curious Kids (2005, Prometheus Books). Helen is president of the Humanists of Brevard and is a former high school and university English teacher, children’s librarian, and editor.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.

Left-wing Patriot

Is it okay to be a patriot
If you’re not a rabble-rouser,
Can you claim to be a patriot
With The New York Times
In your browser?

Can you fly the flag with a conscience
If you’re truly pacifistic?
With a recent Supreme Court decision
Do you really go ballistic?

If you think immigrants are people,
And not merely illegals,
Can you decorate your homestead
With Uncle Sam and eagles?

If you usually vote for Democrats,
And you grieve for Jack and Bobby,
And If you’re okay with Obamacare,
And you boycott Hobby Lobby.

If rape is never “legitimate,”
And you’d rather be left alone
To make your own decisions,
For your body is your own.

Can you fly the flag with a conscience,
If you don’t believe it’s odd
To want the Pledge to eradicate
Those two words “under God”?

If you’re really kind of Leftish,
Don’t give up the fight,
For the Right is not that powerful,
And they’re really not that right.

—Helen Bennett