"the American people"

They'll write my name in a history book

and write about me

they'll say

that taxes were high

and polls were negative

and we were at war

with others

with each other

 

They'll talk about

the days I grew up in

where bombs were real

and anger meant a bullet

flew in one ear and out the other

 

They'll talk about the fear

and the anger

but most of all

they'll talk about

the apathy

 

They'll make things like

school shootings

mass killings

race riots

sound simple

 

They'll write the story of my life

in that history book

my name

right there

in the middle of a list of millions

a list that stretches on

until the names blur together and

become

a jumble of letters

so they'll condense it

and call it

"the American people"

 

That's where my name will be

in the little spaces between letters

letters that spell out

my opinion on

our government

our society

without once asking me what I really felt

 

They'll ignore the good people

the tears that are shed

and heal the wounds they leak out of

 

They won't mention the lady

who smiles at me in the grocery store line

even though she's tired

and has been working all day

and can't pay for the lipstick she wanted to buy

but she is kind anyway

 

They won't acknowledge the man

who stopped and helped me pick up the papers I had dropped

and waved my thanks right out of the air

with a grin

and a

"have a nice day"

 

I'm glad our names are put together

even if they will only be together

in those spaces between letters

"the American people"

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