for Kyle Rittenhouse


All summer he saw his country burned

And spat upon and cursed,

Saw lunacy and blood-thirst

For reason and goodwill returned,


Saw governments do nothing

As the Devil’s riot stormed

Unhindered, mindless, frothing

Hate. But he was one informed


By truth and duty, seventeen,

More man than any politician,

So when chaos came to town

He understood his mission.


He knew too many innocents

The mob had beaten bloody

Not to use God-given sense

To sling his rifle ready


As he labored to repair the mess

And clean the filth they left

Or help the helpless in distress

From their violence and theft.


What child-defiler rushed him

When he tried to douse their arson?

What criminal tried to crush him

When bearing arms his person


He defended? Who’s pistol

Did his quick shot sever

From the anarchist tool

In murder’s fever?


On the pavement, on his back,

He brought the 556 to bear,

Under close and multiple attack

He taught the mob to fear.


Then he stood and scanned the road,

Checked his weapon in good order,

And toward the lights of Law and Order,

Trusting Justice, strode


Eyes open, cool and steady,

Though hell-on-earth raged to destroy

This promise-raised Midwestern boy,

His rifle at low ready.