Happy birthday, America. You’re 241 years old. Congratulations.
You’re still an infant on the world stage. An infant with a very big gun, but an infant still.
Maybe that’s why we’ve allowed you to get to this state. Mass deportations, guns in every pocket, a tyrannical toddler in charge, squabbling lawmakers unwilling to compromise, and worst of all, your beautiful land pockmarked and disfigured, air polluted and waters spoiled by avarice.
But you’re a lovely idea, a perfect ideal to work toward. We’ve only taken a moment to tend to our worst selves. We’ll get back to the job eventually. We’ll return to the original intent of our forefathers. I believe that.
And I love you.
“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” — James Baldwin
By Michelle Garren Flye
Lady Liberty holds a tablet and a torch—
The law of freedom, the light of hope.
But what does it mean when guns fill the street?
When drugs are offered but food is not?
Fear is the only law. There is no defense.
What happened to our freedom?
Some fight still for their most basic rights,
But the Bible of an intolerant God quashes them.
Your love is wrong. Your life is less.
Where is the light of hope?
It shines still, cutting a swath through darkness.
Land of plenty, home of brave, promises made—
But will they be honored?