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Posts Tagged ‘pledge of allegiance’

 

 

 

When I was a girl, I learned to pledge allegiance

to your flag. I remember saying the words

 

in school every morning, led by a teacher’s voice

made tinny by the loudspeaker.

 

I stood behind my desk, small hand on my heart,

and I said the rote words

 

not because I understood them,

not because I meant them, but because

 

that is what we did—like brushing

our teeth before bed or like kneeling in church

 

when everyone else kneels, or like saying

I’m fine when someone asks How are you.

 

America, I don’t remember when it was

I began to cry each time I say the pledge,

 

my throat tight, my lips quivering.

Now, I feel the weight of every word,

 

imagine all the blood that is lost for you,

imagine how beautiful your dream is,

 

know how blemished it’s become.

America, are you possible? America,

 

I am with those who believe in you.

America, here is my voice, here

 

are my hands. Use them. I don’t know

where to start except to offer you my love

 

and mean it. America, when will we learn

we are all in this together?

 

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