My America is red;
Cherry lemonade by the side of a pool
In the summer of my childhood
Lips stained with sugary popsicles and fresh watermelon.
It is red like Coca Cola;
The kind from glass bottles
Drank by my grandfather and his brothers
Boarding a helicopter in the spring he went to Vietnam.
America is red;
The freckles on my Scottish ancestors
Ones who came through Ellis Island
For search of a better life.
My America is white;
The color of my sister's bathing suit
She played catch in the shallow end
With the boys of a military family.
It is white like paper;
The ones in the notebook of my grandfather
He was supposed to fly out
But asked to stay back as the typist for a general.
America is white;
Foam from the waters of New York Bay
Crossed by thousands less lucky than my family
The ones turned away at the border.
My America is blue;
Cloudless skies over my backyard
When I was young and didn't understand
Why my neighbors always moved away.
It is blue like tears;
The ones shed for all the men who died
An ambush after the helicopter landed
My grandfather saved with his education.
America is blue;
The same problems my immigrant family faced
The bloodshed from war
A country that hasn't learned.