And I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don’t want any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive. —Albert Camus
When children by gunfire die,
When the dreamer and the warden clash,
When statues betray the sculptor, we proclaim
This is not who we are.
Who are we?
I take my chisel to Plymouth Rock
But the rock gives no blood;
Our history is like that stone,
Heavier than its weight…
Standing at a dank underpass, I rattle
A tin cup, wave a sign that reads
This is not who we are—
I can grow rich here, devote my life
To the pursuit of happiness…
It is said that upon his murder, Lincoln belonged
To the ages: Why do we wait for blood?
We’ve planted great forests of headstones.
I wander their lush paths, the sanguine streams,
And amidst this grandeur, this horror,
I glimpse both what is and what could be.