America is Not Free for Us

I live well

My parents feed me every night

My stomach is never empty

The latest toys fall into my lap

A stay at home mother for me to cry to

 

I had not realized

That this could be described by saying

I am blessed

I did not understand what it meant when my mother said

“He’s been laid off.”

I only thought I might get more time with my father

 

But instead I suddenly began going to bed hungry

I had learned that the latest toy cannot be mine

Duct tape is no longer for paper, but instead for my shoes

My father said it fixes everything

Can it fix my sadness?

 

I was blessed middle-class

Until I naively watched the economy crumble

Fall in crashing sheets around us

Leaving broken businesses and parents

Unable to provide for their own

For their young daughters

Who just want a new doll

 

Suddenly my mother had to go off for work

Two jobs to make up for the lack of my father’s

No college degree between them

They said they suffered in college

Now we suffer through childhood

 

Why can’t I buy new clothes?

Why must I wear these to threads?

Why is there nothing to eat tonight?

What do you mean sell the house?

 

I was not even ten when my lifestyle was ripped from me

As skin from bones

I did not understand how money worked

Only that we didn’t have it

I forgot what the word “full” felt like in my stomach

 

And when I asked who would help

My mother could only say no one

I have grown up impoverished watching those around me drown in the same

Not a single person to call to

Who will listen

 

We are swept under the rug

Dragged through the mud by the very nation

Who claims to be free for all

But it is not

It is not free for those who must sleep in the streets

No food

No money

No help

 

America is not free

In the oppressive economy

Our country has failed us

It barely picks itself off its feet

That are already surrounded by the hundreds of shattered families

And ruined kids who will go on to be labelled as nothing

 

But I see survivors in those that are not given a silver spoon.

And we stand together

Brought together by where our country has failed

By our ideas to fix the lack of support net

The lack of compassion for the second society

 

America is not free for us

America is free for the rich and oblivious

Who know not the pain of hunger

 

But we do

And we will make America free for all

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country

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