Thursday, June 28, 2007


by Laurel Speer


HERE'S BARBARA FRIETCHIE DURING the Civil War waving our flag in the faces of Stonewall Jackson's Confederate troops marching through Frederick, Maryland:

"Shoot, if you must this old gray head

But spare you're countries flag." she said.

Being in her nineties - or so the story goes - perhaps she figured she didn't have all that much to lose. Still it's a nice note of patriotism for our side.

Here's our very own Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of the Governor of Arkansas, the year before he gets elected as president of these great United States:

Then there was the morning of Labor Day, 1991, when Hillary noticed as she was driving away from the mansion that the security detail had neglected to raise the American flag. Pulling a U-turn, she came careening back to the guardhouse and screamed, "Where is the goddamn fucking flag? I want the goddamn fucking flag raised every fucking morning at fucking sunrise!"

No question, Hillary's got my vote. She knows where she's going, but if necessary she'll do a U-turn to correct a mistake. This woman's got time to pay attention to details. She's forceful, keeps her hair free of gray. And she's only in her fifties.

Copyright 2005 by Laurel Speer



 Laurel Speer lives in Tucson, Arizona. Her work has been published in many journals including, The Louisiana Review, and Chiron Review. This piece comes from her chapbook Ali's Mouthpiece. The quotes are from Barbara Frietchie by John Greenleaf Whittier and The First Partner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, by Joyce Maynard. You can order a copy of this chapbook, for $4.00, from Laurel Speer, PO Box 12220, Tucson, Az 85732-2220. A complete list of other titles available from this author, including her Geryon Press Series Poetry Books, can be had by sending an SASE to the address above. And watch for more of her short pieces on OE in the future.

Sidney Grayling, editor, OnagerEditions 





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