Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am an American

April is a month packed with deadlines, interviews, meetings upon meetings squeezed in between school and home 'stuff' (sorry, my creative juices are all squeezed out of me today).

I'm off to an orthodontist appointment for my youngest daughter, then rushing back home to pick up the rest of the children. Then we head to church, where my beloved, lovely and oh-so-helpful! parents will take my children out to dinner (thanks Mom & Dad!) while I meet with potential counselors, junior counselors and senior staff for interviews.

Before I leave, I want to offer a poem for poetry Wednesday. It's rather long, but I read it to my older two children this morning (before dashing off to another meeting) and I really liked the imagery, rhythm and message of this poem.

I am an American
Elias Lieberman

I am an American.
My father belongs to the Sons of the Revolution;
My mother, to the Colonial Dames.
One of my ancestors pitched tea overboard in Boston Harbor;
Another stood his ground with Warren;
Another hungered with Washington at Valley Forge.
My forefathers were America in the making:
They spoke in her council halls;
They died on her battle-fields;
They commanded her ships;
They cleared her forests.
Dawns reddened and paled.
Staunch hearts of mine beat fast at each new star
In the nation's flag.
Keen eyes of mine foresaw her greater glory:
The sweep of her seas,
The plenty of her plains,
The man-hives in their billion-wired cities.
Every drop of blood in me holds a heritage of patriotism.
I am proud of my past.

I am an American.
My father was an atom of dust,
My mother a straw in the wind,
To His Serene Majesty.
One of my ancestors died in the mines of Siberia;
Another was cripples for life by twenty blows of the knout.
Another was killed defending his home during the massacres.
The history of my ancestors is a trail of blood
To the palace-gate of the Great White Czar.
But then the dream came-
The dream of America.
In the light of the Liberty torch
The atom of dust became a man
And the straw in the wind became a woman
For the first time.
"See," said my father, pointing to the flag that fluttered near,
"That flag of stars and stripes is yours;
It is the emblem of the promised land.
It means, my son, the hope of humanity.
Live for it - die for it!"
Under the open sky of my new country I swore to do so;
And every drop of blood in me will keep that vow.
I am proud of my future.

I really do love this poem. Find more great poems here for Poetry Wednesday.

1 comment:

Kris Livovich said...

What great imagery of different kinds of americans. I really like this. I find it tiring for Americans to only be Colonial, came over on the Mayflower types. What about the rest of Americans? Good poem.