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.