America the Great


A body in the street 

but no one knows how the small child sees

his brother dead facedown

now he will be remembered as a corpse and the child a statue

Is this what we wanted

in a world taken from its infancy by mechanics

and gunpowder? no

i doubt that Lucy would have chosen this path

when she first walked on two legs.

A mother cries out

because she doesn't want to be found

with a baby forced upon her by

men in suits who don't know her or her rapist

Is this what we wanted

when the founding fathers chose this land

and constitution? no

i doubt that God would have loved us

if we were all this way.

A couple sobs

on the front porch of a parent's house

because they cannot fathom how

unconditional love has conditions and gay is a crime

Is this what we wanted

when we signed that Declaration to prove that

we were the free ones? no

i doubt that England would have fought for us

if the king knew what was really in America's hearts.

A boy in school

he doesn't know how to pronounce the words

that he wants so desperately to know

all to prove that he is worth something to someone somewhere

Is this what we wanted

when schools went public and education

was put after atomic bombs? no

i doubt congress knows every student

like they know the military budget.

A girl gets whistled at

and turns a fiery red because she knows that

she is worth more than catcalls on the street

but misogynist tell her that her worth is from what people see not what she says

Is this what we wanted

when we said "All men are created equal"? no

i doubt that the Constitution counted

women as people at all.

A man on the bench

who cannot find a job because

his name doesn't sound right on the tongues of white men

but he has five mouths to feed and he cannot wait

Is this what we wanted

when Ellis Island welcomed the nations

and the refugees? no

because we treated them as criminals

when they were our neighbors

all by the color of their skin.


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