America was Never America to Me

In America, there are many usuals and many givens. If you don't do this, you're not American. If you don't say this, you're not American. Within this poem I talk about the changes and sub standards of America, and why it's never been America to me.

By Isabel Ann Wells from Niagara High School in Wisconsin

Number one

We’ve never been just a country

A surviving thing with no survival needed

And if we are destroyed

It is because we’ve destroyed ourselves

Throughout centuries there have been men stepping foot on empty roads here

Armed with nothing but a vision

Something we do not need here, we want here

Something we need here is not wanted

And that in its essence is America

But it has never been America to me


Number two

The eagle that carries us is getting old

His weary wings wearing out, the air carrying him slow and burdened

What has once pushed him is now the reason why he wants to stop flying

The things made by men suddenly cannot be reversed

The eagle has nowhere to rest

Is it time to replace the eagle?

Is it time to replace ourselves?

And this in its essence is America

But it has never been America to me


Number three

What befalls the earth, befalls all the daughters and sons of the Earth

What happens here, happens to everyone

We fight in arms

Fighting with arms

Fighting together

Fighting against

And to them we have a solid obligation

As solid as the ground where these bodies now lay

And that in its essence is America

But it has never been America to me


Number four

Truth is powerful and it prevails

Democracy is something worth dying for

Democracy is a lying contest

The simplest way to measure who is truly American is to look at how many want in

And how many want out

Because being American is being a working soul

And if you don’t want to work, you don’t belong

And this in its essence is America

But it has never been America to me


If you want to serve yourself right here, you need to want to be here

This place is full of hope and anger, moving and falling pieces

The movement for a free place

The falling of those who want the freedom for themselves

The problem with America is that it is too large of a place

Too large of dreams

Too large of hopes

Too large of an entity for all of these small minded people

But it is the place of love

It is the place of truth and prosperity

It truly is the land of the free

And that in its essence is America

And it will always be America to me

Niagara High School

Mr. Laarman's U.S. History Class

11th graders from Niagara, WI

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