The American Pied Piper

Romina-Marie Baronia

Have you heard the tale of a woman drenched in blue waters and kissed by white light, all drowned by the stench of spilled blood?

Fearful whispers call her “The American Pied Piper.” They say that on the eve of her birthday, children disappear. They claim that it is her melody that enchant them into her arms:

My sweet children

She leads them down a winding path and twirls them in dizzying loops, hiding them from the smoke and ashes of her fiery torch that mix with the flesh of women and children of another land.

Close your eyes. Listen to my voice.

She shields their eyes from blue ghouls feasting on innocent men and women, draping an illusion of angelic beings in their place. Who would ever question a creation meant to protect?

Come—hear the melody I sing.

She changes her tune to sing of “purple mountain majesties” and “alabaster cities gleaming undimmed by human tears,” directing the children away from moans triggered by bullets and chants from protests.

Feel its vines tickle your skin.

Her fingers kiss their lips to have them sing about their Land of the Free, sharp eyes turning to the cages with a dare to challenge and interrupt her composition.

Embrace them.

She strengthens her melody to drown the words of truth, flooding cries of death with cries of victory—her children must know greatness and only greatness.

Devour them.

She deafens their ears with a song of “broad stripes” and “bright stars gallantly streaming” to steer them far from the popping gunshots that create an endless stream of red, assuring them that all is well.

The American Pied Piper’s name exudes divinity yet tastes of bitterness planted by hypocrisy. It is said she is a sight to behold but look past her illusive veil and you will see the graffiti of lies.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
– Lady Liberty