This is a poem that describes how, although America has many dark things in its past, there have been good things as well, and America is truly neither good nor bad. This poem gives examples of both the good and the bad to support the claim.

this country

its flag painted

red white and blue

its streets painted

red with blood

a black and blue stain spreading

across the tender skin of this country

stars and stripes elicit the tightening of the throat:


or fear?

a country where a woman’s right

to control her own body

has been ripped from her

where every day african american men are afraid

to get pulled over

if they reach too far

for their license they'll end up with

six bullets in their chest

where mothers are afraid to send their children to school

or the grocery store

afraid the next time they’ll see them is in a casket

their child’s backpack soaked with blood

but this country is also the land

where Martin Luther King Jr

had a dream

and something came of it

where thousands of women

fought for suffrage

and were

granted it

land of George Washington and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

of Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth

where my great grandfather stepped off a boat

fleeing a country he once called home

to fall into the arms of a country full of strangers

and a strange sense of hope

and built a future for himself

where millions have built futures for themselves

this is not black or white



this country

falling apart

its streets filled with

people bleeding out

is simply that:

a country of people

flawed and imperfect

but moving forward

building a better future

praying that one day

this swelling earth is a land

of the free




Bay High School 2023 1st Block

AP Government Class

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