Download document


Ghazal: America the Beautiful

Do you remember our earnestness our sincerity

in first grade when we learned to sing America

The Beautiful along with the Star-Spangled Banner

and say the Pledge of Allegiance to America

We put our hands over our first grade hearts

we felt proud to be citizens of America

I said One Nation Invisible until corrected

maybe I was right about America

School days school days dear old Golden Rule Days

when we learned how to behave in America

What to wear, how to smoke, how to despise our parents

who didn’t understand us or America

Only later learning the Banner and the Beautiful

live on opposite sides of the street in America

Only later discovering the Nation is divisible

by money by power by color by gender by sex America

We comprehend it now this land is two lands

one triumphant bully one still hopeful America

Imagining amber waves of grain blowing in the wind

purple mountains and no homeless in America

Sometimes I still put my hand tenderly on my heart

somehow or other still carried away by America