I Sometimes Wonder


I sometimes wonder if the greats of this country perceived it to be as great as this country would lead us to believe
I wonder if Langston Hughes counted bodies that dropped on his block like I count droplets of innocent blood on mine
I wonder if Zora Neale Hurston allowed disappointment to be clouded into anger at her people like I allow anger to be clouded into nonchalance at mine
I wonder if Wallace Thurman feared white robes and pointed hats like I fear blue uniforms and entitlement
America has not changed
She has just learned to cloak her flaws in tales of overcoming and glorified holidays
I don't need a month to tell me I'm special, I'm important
America loves me
...but only for 28 days
She belts out tunes of freedom and happily ever after like hit melodies and whispers negro spirituals in the background
My bones litter the ground I stand on in a state of unrest
They hang loosely from the lowest branch of the freedom tree
And the sun only illuminates the top leaves
I'm not even dead yet but my life has been foreshadowed in those of Hughes, Hurston, and Thurman
I am only one voice amongst millions who have been gagged by false expectations and the tears of the oppressed
I taste the steel that lines the chains America uses to entrap us in her vision of perfection
It seems today that there are just as many reasons to grow voices riot strong and twin tower tall as there were in Harlem
Yet there are not enough ways to achieve equality, justice, freedom
But that's what you get when you live in the land of the enslaved and the home of the cowardly
Enslaved to the corrupted justice system and afraid of equality
I wonder if Langston Hughes ever doubted his ability to bring change like I doubt mine
If Zora Neale Hurston buried her voice under her insecurities until it clawed its way out of her throat in a piercing scream of pure unadulterated literacy
If Wallace Thurman ever whispered his liberal opinions like I sometimes mumble mine
I sometimes wonder if any of them ever felt this mythological love America emits
If they were ever told of the wonders of the American dream and couldn't help but think
America was never America to me

This poem is about: 
My country


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