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  • Myrna Sandbrand

why not...?



is there ever a good time?

to face the disgrace of a nation

born on the backs of others

will there ever be an acceptable moment

to reconcile that this country

began through slavery and slaughter


all creatures of this earth

avoid painful feelings

it is built into our reflexes

to pull back quickly from the fire


we protect ourselves

from ominous actions

that threaten our life

and our minds

filled with the struggles of being alive


it is difficult work

to come to terms with

the birth of a nation

alongside the visions of grandeur

when we place our hand on our heart

pledging our loyalty to a more perfect union


but in order

to persist as a union

we must bring the vision

and the actual events together

payout debt to those that labored

under the gun, the whip, the noose

laboring still with threats and deception


truth and reconciliation

is not a place of blame

but regret

to recognize and claim

what we must not forget

to recognize the pain

of actions that as of yet

have not been owned


if we don't act with courage

to take personal responsibility

for holding false truths

that are self evident;

casting blame on the victims

while continuing the message

that all it takes in this land of opportunity

is pull yourself up by your bootstraps

then we are doing ourself and others a great disservice


not all of us have the perserverance

to persist no matter the circumstance

most of us, in fact

get by doing the best we can

some of us can't even do that

if we disregard the frail and lost

if we discount bias and the cost

we are expecting others to play

on an uneven ground

and that ain't right


it's a snake oil salersman's technique

substituting self doubt

in place of institutionalized clout

that places the burden

on the individual

denying that there is any restriction

to your life's predictions

and in some sense that is true

but try living in a Black American's shoes

for a month or 2

and then see how well you would do


Many Americans are full of what's unfair

until it comes to facing the glare

of this country's history

then its 'that was so long ago'

impatience at the facts that show

that we remain a divided nation

until we can see with wisdom eyes

the worst parts of our creation story

that we must protect and defend the rights of all Americans

only then and not until then

will we be able to bend the arc of the Universe

towards a more perfect Union.



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