Stepping off the mayflower,

trudging through the marsh

Disease, death and despair

Claiming a virgin land not known

To mankind as his own.

 

Planted a flag,

Claiming it for God, king and country,

Price of Divinity paid

With blood, sweat and tears.

An immigrant to the thousand

years who lived before,

Unwelcome in a claimed land,

A pioneer in the other.

 

Tied by chains,

brothers and sisters dying like flies,

Sitting huddled in dark cellars,

Crossing heaving oceans,

Landing on shores never seen,

Planting tobacco, cotton for decades,

Unwelcome colors, only used to shade me,

New colors mixed with the old.

 

Shuffling past the grey lights,

Rain falling on shoulders,

Stone edifice of a lady holding a light,

Liberty light beckons from dark steerage of ships,

View obscured by millions gaping through portholes,

Carry a flag, past and future in little hop bundles,

Unwelcome in the land now alien.

 

Bed of blown metal, empty shells

Mud and flesh become brothers

Indistinguishable from the other

Having each bled together.

Flames of war make no distinction

Between a life-giving earth

Rendered barren and lifeless

Or a life carrying human

Rendered still forever.

 

Flags planted, claimed for victory,

Redemption, divine, or loss;

Always led by life losing itself

To death destruction and despair.

 

Kneel and pray on the cloth,

Persist resist on the cloth,

Pray warp in divinity and patriotism,

Burn it and throw scraps to the wind,

Own it but don’t forget

Plant the flag once, forever.

Past being nothing but retribution for present

Future never a forgotten dream

but a wish from the past.

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