To Remember

I remember slavery

It’s waxed into my mind

Made lyrical by the screams of my ancestors

Taught and passed down generation by generation

Through gospels and hymns begging to be acknowledged

I remember slavery

 

I remember Operation Wetback

Driven by the United States to dispose of

To rape

To humiliate

To hate

Those different

Their brown skin raised by reddened welts and swollen blood

Their families split apart by the Land of the Free

I remember Operation Wetback

 

I remember the hate against those with light skin and slanted eyes

Signs reading No Chinese or Dogs Allowed

Pushed into places happily entitled “camps”

Screams as their lives were compromised because

Freedom came at the price of sacrifice

I remember the hate

 

I do not remember this great America

I remember glimpses

Voting rights for blacks but only after so many died for it to happen

Only for barriers to still pop up to block their constitutional right

I remember same sex marriage finally acknowledged

But only after so many in the LGBTQ+ community compromised their safety, their relationships, and their happiness to make it happen

Only for Orlando to become a new reality

 

I remember glimpses of a great America that lasted too little or

Took too long to appear only to be destroyed by the actions of the hateful

I would rather remember how America is, was, and has always been

Than fantasize about what privileged America remembers

 

I write poetry because it helps me to remember

It reminds me that we are not great again

We are not done

Poetry gives a voice to the voiceless

And in a time where the voiceless are so easily cast away

So easily ignored

So easily killed

A  poem is a poem that can save.

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world

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