Hey Columbus…

You step out of your sport utility vehicle and
begin fueling on pump number three while I
finish up on pump number four.

You eye my braid, my old car, my flute bag
in the rear window, and that expression comes
onto your pale, clean-shaven face.

You seem upset that I don’t shuffle, step aside,
show embarrassment about my dark skin, and
why must I have feathers in plain view?

You are columbus, with your arrogance and
your privilege and your superior equipment,
you are that same murdering foreigner.

You wish I would go away, would not be
present right there with road dirt on my car,
would be somewhere else, doing menial work.

Hey columbus, nobody needs you here.  We
lived here for tens of thousands of years before
you came with your virulent diseases.

Hey, columbus, your arrogance wears thin, and
a cheap, pitiful little thief shows through — your
time has been already too long.

You are that same columbus who accepted
my Arawak cousins’ hospitality, there on Hispaniola,
then gathered folks up to sell as slaves in europe.

You are that same columbus who noticed
gold ornaments, who demanded tribute, who
cut off hands or feet for not bringing enough.

You are that same columbus whose own
spanish priest, Fray Bartolome de Las Casas,
wrote about your unimaginable cruelty.

You might say that was long ago, that I am
only showing my ignorance and paranoia,
that you have nothing to do with it.

You might be lying, too.  Your arrogance
gives you away, shows you out.  You are that
same columbus who thought himself better.

Hey, columbus, haven’t you stole enough,
aren’t you rich enough yet to get into that
exclusive little heaven you talk about?

Hey, columbus, if my honest half-breed presence
causes you discomfort — if you had rather your
wife and kids didn’t see me, why not leave?

You are that same columbus, yes it’s you
stepping from your sport utility vehicle onto
the flat pavement of a filling station.

You are that same columbus and you can’t hide,
even in the privacy of afternoon drinks at your
exclusive clubs — arrogant stink surrounds you.

You are that same old columbus who
dreams of empire, who pretends to own
this land, who is willing to kill for profit.

You are that same old columbus who brought us
cheap thrills, oil spills, insurance bills, close-order drills,
targeted kills and land fills with radioactive waste.

You are that same old columbus, and you
wish I would go away?  After all these years,
after your people have done these things?

Hey columbus, why don’t YOU go away?
Hey columbus, your scorn displeases me.
Hey columbus, your elections are phony.
Hey columbus, your time’s about up, enit?
Hey columbus, haven’t you made enough of a mess?
Hey columbus, gather up your trash and carry it away.
Hey columbus, go back where you came from.
Hey columbus, john wayne has no teeth.
Hey columbus, last call.
Hey columbus, keep moving, no stopping here, move right along.
Hey columbus, whooee up there, hoosh! soooie pig.
©2010 Thomas Hubbard


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