Collective Unrest

 

The Old Colossus

September 13, 2018

 

There was a time, once,
when we spoke of tired,
poor, huddled masses
yearning to breathe free,
and we did not mean people
who were already here.

Wretched was not an insult,
and refuse was not a verb.
We imprisoned the lightning,
not the lost.
And spoke of tempest-tost
as though we were not the tempest.

We said that our beacon-hand
glowed world-wide welcome.
That our lamp was lifted
beside a golden door.

Did that America ever truly exist?
Maybe we just spoke those words
because we wished that they were true.

But I wish we still did.

And yes, we still can.

At our sea-washed, sunset gates,
above an air-bridged harbor
where twin towers fell,
a mighty woman still stands.
She persists.

We have torched
who we said we were.
Out of those embers,
we will build who we will be.

 

Dan Norland is a high school history teacher at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego, California.

Please follow and like us:
error
In categories:
Newer Post

Day of the Daisy: A Musical

Day of the Daisy: A Musical," by Margaret Koger is a powerhouse hybrid of poetic edge and unique execution blending journalistic citation into the fray with effortless prowess as it plunges you into its winding narrative. A refreshing example of…
Read
Older Post

holes in the curtain 1 & 2

holes in the curtain   nothing knows how to begin, without a voice.   a face like a gash in the windshield of the universe.   rotating, rotating. we think we inhabit a sphere,   something perfect, something close to…
Read
Random Post

The Battle of Pioneer Place

I. Protesters hurl organic tomatoes and craft IPA bottles at riot police. Several protesters hold their young aloft, miming the Lion King. They wear furry ears and black bandanas and Guy Fawkes masks dipped in rainbow paint. One protester has…
Read
Random Post

Got My Ladder

I’d get the ladder, my dad said. Take it out of the garage, pull it past the garbage cans, through the gate, lean it against the front of the house, by the roses. Pack a picnic, fill the cooler with…
Read
Random Post

Prognosis, Miami

*Previously published in Public Pool A city in flux is no place to call home. The skyline is a cloudscape building to a storm the way it shifts and grows, expanding into something that eventually will fall, give way to…
Read
Random Post

Bible Church of Micah

The God of love a smoking volcano, happy, blissful even, but raging lava. In high school I learned that Mr. Simpson didn’t vote for Reagan. Our Pastor met with him privately. He stopped coming to church. A few others actively…
Read