What happens to the spirits
of those who died
on trail of tears or wounded knee
To the lies of “great” George Washington
and his cherry tree?
What happens to a dream
that is presented as freedom
but reeks of slavery
and star spangled hypocrisy?
What happens when Black youth protesters
and white white-collar criminals are
and all those in between are unseen?
What happens to red and white stripes
that feel like cold steel prison bars
and little white stars
that mask incredible scars?
What happens in this world now
and what is left?
where our future is uncertain at best
where some wonder if this is all we get
Do we still dare to dream?
I wrote this poem (different title, different version) several years ago in my first book Mules Fight Back (which is on amazon btw, shameless plug). I just updated it as I, especially as an African American, struggle with the celebration of the forth of July…
“The Fourth of July freed the land from Britain; the 19th of June freed all the people,” Myers said. “So you really can’t talk about freedom in America unless you talk about Fourth of July and the 19th of June.”