Sunday, March 13, 2016

I wont sing America

Re:  Langston Hughes' I, too, sing America
& Walt Whitman's I Hear America Singing

The flag that flew over the Occupation of Alcatraz 1969-1971, designed by Lulie Nall, a Penobscot Indian

I won't sing America, a villanelle

I am the white daughter
Told to mind my manners
Sit pretty and sing America.

Marry and have two kids, drive down
Streets lined with asphalt and concrete,
So fortunate to be the white daughter.

Pity the poor and ignorant: buy a gown,
Drink wine for charity, and for me, drunkenly.
Why won't I sing America?

After all I got out of the kitchen, kind of, but still bound.
I dined with the company, abided his abuse and neglect
Rather than come clean: I am the white daughter

Photo'd with a smile at the lynchings in town.
(Wills signed and bank accounts prove it.)
Oh no, huh uh, I won't sing America.

Hold my hand, feel my heart pound.
Don't pine away in fear and sorrow.
Say I am the white daughter and
I refuse, I won't sing America.

June 2012

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