“And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don’t want any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive.” – Albert Camus
When children by gunfire die,
When the dreamer and the warden clash,
When statues betray the sculptor, we proclaim
This is not who we are.
Who are we?
I take my chisel to Plymouth Rock
But the rock gives no blood;
Our history is like that stone,
Heavier than its weight…
Standing at a dank underpass, I rattle
A tin cup, wave a sign that reads
This is not who we are—
I can grow rich here, devote my life
To the pursuit of happiness…
It is said that upon his murder, Lincoln belonged
To the ages: Why do we wait for blood?
We’ve planted great forests of headstones.
I wander their lush paths, the sanguine streams,
And amidst this grandeur, this horror,
I glimpse both what is and what could be.
Sunday, August 18, 2019