For Our Fathers by Alexia

To our country’s fathers I write,
for my father and many others:
My country or is it?
Land of the free? It isn’t.
This is no country to me.
This is no land of the free.
The ‘free’ here feel contained.
Everything wild, they want to tame.
The laws can go on for miles,
and 1 of 3 have a criminal file.
U.S. has the highest inmate population,
so it doesn’t look ‘great’ for my generation.
But the laws aren’t the only bars,
Certainly not, not by far.
We are caged by color, gender, belief, and age.
Caged by ignorance, drugs, greed, and rage.
We are trapped by things we cannot see,
Strings pulled from Washington, DC.
Such a lack of clarity,
in this land of insincerity.
Like we’re in debt, but we’re rich.
Like we’ve got the guns, but which side is which?
Our government says trust in me,
but spends our tax dollars cutting down trees.
So it’s obvious we’re not free,
but what about just, as we claim to be?
Say ‘just’ to the children’s names on the gravestones,
who’s innocent lives were stolen because of our war zone.
Their families left to cry alone,
but our lives are on our smartphones?
Maybe we’re just for the people that fit,
not for those overseas who need it.
We are called ‘the police’ worldwide,
So shouldn’t justice be something we provide?
So we’re not just, let’s move on.
What about equality? Is it here or is it gone?
Let’s ask the Muslim who sought refuge,
but wasn’t granted because our arrogance is to ‘huge’.
Or the Hispanic? What do they have to say?
Even with college, they work on the railway.
What about the black man who was shot for his skin?
Unarmed but dangerous, he was only a kid.
How about the woman who couldn’t escape?
And the men who told her ‘it’s just rape’.
The Christians who stand for their faith,
but ends up with spit on their face.
Or the Native American who of his heritage is proud,
but by the white man is pushed to the ground.
Equality is subjective like everything these days,
but what about environment? Why’s that delayed?
Just like it all, greed overrules,
Environmentalism is just for us ‘hippie fools’.
But is it really? It’s everyone’s planet.
So shouldn’t we all be an advocate.
But money says not, and government listens.
Coal is cheaper and gold glistens.
So let’s dig it up and destroy our soil.
Let’s burn our coal ’til we start to boil.
Let’s over fish our oceans, is that the way?
Destroy until our final day.
So greed speaks and our planet suffers,
between us and our world there is no buffer.
So back to the question is this my country,
Yes it is, it will always be.
That’s why I’ll stand to point out the flaws.
They need to be fixed and I’ll fight for that cause.
But to our forefathers I ask,
Is this the country that you planned, hidden behind many masks?
It’s probably not, so we cover that up.
Drink from a different cup.
Drink from the cup that says the good things about us.
Access to education, books, and a bus.
Free enterprise, that one’s true.
You have a right to business thanks to red, white, and blue.
Although we complain about our safety,
Most of us can walk the streets without having to flee.
Technology is booming and advancements are made,
Foreign countries are more involved in trade.
Democracy’s not totally faded,
Each person has the right to vote unpersuaded.
Forefathers, answer me this,
Do you think the description ‘great’ is a hit or a miss?
Personally I’d say it’s off,
Because we’ve not yet reached the payoff.
The payoff is when all people unite,
Unite in peace, not to fight.
When humanity is real,
We can start to heal.
When our resources are sustainable,
Is when the payoff is attainable.
So to our forefather I write,
Can you help make us great?
I hope I live to see that date.

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Posted on April 8, 2017, in Student Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Brianna Miles

    If you dislike America so much, you are free to leave. You can move to a socialist paradise such as Venezuela or North Korea. I can assure you, having personally traveled and seen more of the world, America is still the best country out there. Compared to places like Saudi Arabia, it is absolutely a great place. At least you can exercise your right to actually wear whatever you want in public, and men don’t give you funny looks when you are in the men’s line talking to your father. Or people don’t try to run you off the road because you are white. And you don’t fear for your safety when trying to get off a darn elevator. That was an adventure.
    Cheers.

    • Esmeralda Rodriguez

      If you look at the whole poem it says we are better off than other countries, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have flaws. Just because we have it better than other countries doesn’t mean we should stop trying to make improvements. They aren’t saying they dislike America, they are saying that there is both good and bad here. The poem even says “Although we complain about our safety, Most of us can walk the streets without having to flee.”

    • I’m sorry If this poem offends anyone, as the step-daughter of an immigrant I see some of the worst parts of our country, so that’s what I wrote. I assure you I do know that there are much worse places, but I believe there is still a lot we can improve upon. These are just my thoughts and once again, not meant to offend anyone. Also, I do not dislike America, in fact I find myself believing the opposite.

      • I am also a step-daughter of an immigrant, as it turns out. Which is why I am currently trying to learn Chinese, so I can speak with my foreign relatives. But things like illegal immigration made it very difficult for my step-mother to become a citizen. She was pushed to the back of the line because the illegal immigrants were considered more important. I see mostly the bad parts of opposition due to this. Of course we dislike illegal immigrants. They broke our laws and stole a place in society, or so it was for my family. We don’t see black brutality. The only times we have ever had white-on-black police brutality have been proven to be aggravated assaults against officers, and the vast majority of black people who are killed were killed by other blacks. The refugees have turned out to actually be a huge problem. Just ask Sweden, who is now the largest rape capital in the world. They literally play a game called, “The Rape Game.”

        To be perfectly fair, your poem is written very well, but to me, because I have such experience with all of this, it seems to be very ignorant. These issues seem to be targeted on the wrong side and blame white people when they have been no worse than other societies.

  2. I enjoyed your poem Alexia. 🙂 the issue of brutality against black citizens, the stigma surrounding people immigrating to this country seeking safety or looking for a new life, our high incarceration rates, and the ignored suffering of women when we are faced with assault or violention of our bodies, these and many others are hugely important issues. As a human rights activist, someone who has been involved in fighting for racial, LGBT, and women’s rights, it’s refreshing to see someone else so concerned with the problems this country has that really demand to be solved. Certainly it’s very important to write about things like these and create a voice for those that may be afraid or even unable to speak out.

  3. Thank you all for you opinions, I take my poetry seriously and each of your opinions means a lot to me. Brianna I’m very sorry this poem seemed ignorant to you, I would just like you to know that it was not written to be either ignorant or arrogant, nor was it written to blame any race as I feel that everyone has an equal amount of blame when it comes to the faults in our world. Again, thank you all!

  4. Alexia I was amazed. Your poem is just what I was looking for. Its true we have flaws that need improvement. Everything you talked about I just loved it. Keep up the great work 🙂

  5. To clarify with some facts with Brianna, I mentioned my step father, who is currently a proud US citizen, came to this country legally with a Visa more than a decade ago, has a European background, is college educated to a Masters level, has lived in three different countries and has sacrificed a lot to stay in this country to be my parent. Although I mentioned him, I would like to keep him out of this discussion because the daily news has been more than enough to inspire my feelings and thoughts. This poem is product of only my thoughts and opinions. Again, thank you for reading it, and thanks for the feedback.

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