Poem on The Dream

America, you never really knew the dream,

Deferred or broke or on the tree,

It’s carried deep inside our souls,

Inside our eyes and broken hearts

And blistered backs

And ashy skin,

You never knew the dream inside or saw the stairway’s marble lift to promised lands

Or purpled grains that wave of nowhere’s majesty,

You never felt the song you sang by standing up

Or heard our prayers to make it live,

by kneeling for some stolen grace,

You never knew the work we built,

Inside the every blessed hour

Or carved

And toiled

Then waited for,

But never ate but bitter fruits,

You never saw the hearts it took or robbed from mothers arms long died,

What can you know then of some dream,

that for yourselves you’ve always claimed,

Yet wrought not tears

Or blood or sweat,

To lift the load

To bear this work?

I cannot celebrate a dream ‘til you awaken to this truth.

-atg