When Was it Great?

They say they want to make America great again

But to them, I ask, when was it great?


Was it great in the 1950’s when little black girls and little black boys

were told to drink from different water fountains than little white girls and little white boys

as if their darker lips were filled with toxins

rather than the same human flesh?


Was it great back in the day

when women were prisoners of their own homes

bound by the chains of sexism and the superiority of their husbands

reduced to nothing but a womb to provide them with sons?


Was it great when our soldiers came home from war

scarred by the images of bombs and village raids and children dying

only to be left with PTSD and unemployment and a corrupt system that did nothing to help them?


Was it great when we poisoned our own people in Flint

filling their children with lead

depriving them of the basic necessity of water?


Was it great when our president

the man you elected

spoke about groping women without their consent?

Because, after all, it’s just locker room talk

And, hell, she was probably just asking for it, right?

Just like the millions of girls in college who had a little too much to drink

or showed a little too much skin

or spoke a little too flirtatiously without even knowing it


Was America great when lovers across the country

had to fight and protest and die simply to have their love validated?

Because it’s Adam and Eve, after all, not Adam and Steve

And the separation of church and state is only valid

when the church is a mosque worshiping Allah

because Islam has no place in our pure, Christian country

and we treat our women and gays and children better than them, right?


Was America great when a man fatally shot 20 children in Connecticut

taking their lives before they even begun?

Because the right to bear arms comes before

the right of women to show bare arms in dresses and tank tops

without being violated or touched or harassed simply for showing their own skin


Is America great when we, as a people, believe our past can be better than our present?


This poem is about: 
My country


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