America, I wanna embrace you
I wanna kiss you full on the mouth.
America, you broke my nose
but lifted my spirits, amen.
America, you have given me much,
I’d give it back (I say)
to sit at the table
with the Sons of Slaves
and Native Daughters,
with farmers, railworkers,
roustabouts, hobos, migrants
and the least of these, the children,
my children, amen.
America, in your great wingspan is a bosom
of warmth and wonder,
of struggle and toil,
a great heaving, a great crying,
a great laughing, loving, living, dying.
America, my forefathers fought under your flag,
it cost my father his youthful ideology but
not the love of his country, amen.
America, I am You, She is You,
We are You,
my children your legs your hands your feet,
your bone your blood your matter,
this grave task not lost on me,
as I stoop they are rising,
Daddy up above have mercy upon me,
bless the children as medics and migrants.
If Christ walked through you, America,
he wouldn’t hitchhike the Interstate,
he’d walk the backroad,
and I’d weep for I could not -
Christ, I have a mortgage, a car,
a family, a job, amen.
America, I wanna punch you in the face
and kiss you on the cheek,
let’s get drunk on the Missouri River
until the second hitchhiking of Christ,
children rowdy, everybody holler,
singing songs of allkinds,
rattle & bone
& drum & twang
rasp & moan
& hum & chain
prayer & chant
pick & hack
& cough & clang
curse & cry
& holler & weep
shrill & shriek
& chirp & cheep
buzz & chuckle
& laugh & blow
suck & whistle
& sing in the row
O America, I love you.
And everyone says Amen.