I walk the land, this piece of America I call my own.
How is it that seemingly so little can mean so much?
One blade of grass of itself is useless to me.
Daily I sweep it from my feet and from my doorstep.
I pull it from flowerbeds and dare it to grow again.
But root the one with other blades in a rolling sea
That dances in the wind and bends in green curtsies,
And I will struggle and toil to call it home.
My wandering looses clouds of dust that swirl and cling,
Covering shoes and clothes and running in streaks of mud.
I think how soothing it will be to wash off the dirt,
To watch it disappear down the drain in soapy suds.
Now, take the grains that rolled and tumbled in the foam
And set them one upon the other, numbered in the billions.
Paint them in lights and shadows of reds, browns and golds.
This spectrum of color has fueled generations of artists’ strokes,
Living only to capture the essence, the inspiration, of this earth.
A breeze tiptoes through my hair and I follow its path.
On a gentle rise stands a solitary tree, branches reaching out.
It speaks with soft voice, an echo of loneliness and seclusion.
But plant the tree beside others in acres of woodland,
And delight in the chorus of all creatures protected there.
While roots creep in company with their brothers underneath,
Leaves intertwine in a secret game played with sun and rain.
Realize those woodlands drew the plans for my family’s shelter.
Which of these parts is the America I call home?
Take away one, and would her power still hold me?
If these same steps trod under sky of a different name,
Would they still invoke the feelings reserved for America?
I do not know the answers to my musings, save one –
Let the blade of grass be swept by a hand,
Let the grain of earth be washed from a face,
Let the solitary tree offer shade to one
Who does not love, does not revere this land,
And I will lay down my life to protect her.
That fierce animal, Pride, that bows to no one
Is inextricably woven into the fabric of my home,