I want to invite you into my home to play some games. Let’s start with Scrabble! Let’s place all the names of our people together in that complex and crossed way. Let’s make all of our names belong on the board of our land. We need space to fit together. Can you see that? And we do fit together.
Now America, let’s use our names to tell our stories. You see? Our names are unique but our stories overlap. Listen to how we are different and how we are the same. Can you hear that song? We have so much in common, and yet, our stories are individualized. We are unique and we overlap.
And now America, the lesson I want to teach you is to sing your names, sing your stories and say it all together. Can you hear each other now? In our chorus, we are the land of the brave, the home of the free and the new world full of shining cities on the hill. And we are also the land of the slaves, the home of injustice and the place of broken cities sliding into the ocean.
So America, can we learn to balance the injustice? Can we trip the light fantastic and sing together? Can we learn to dance together and begin to balance the social injustice? Because we are America and we, not just you and me, we live together!
This poem was created in 10 minutes during a social justice conference in Concord New Hampshire last week. We were instructed to write a letter to America, invite them into our homes, to play games with America, and to suggest a lesson that America could learn.