Thank You, America — a poem collage by Kwame Alexander

Thank You, America

The sun rising behind farm houses in the Midwest 
The clear mountain rivers in Montana
I hope we have the wisdom to treasure all of it.

A glimmer of dawn
First flickers in Maine

For the mountains. 
magnificent weathered beacons of topographical wonder.

Tengo gracias that I can speak my mind 
y no aye consecuencia graves when I do so.

I won’t lie, I struggled with this question 
With all the fighting, hate and violence 
it has been difficult to remember to be thankful. 
However, when I read stories of people who 
stand up and speak out 
for justice and truth 
I become immensely grateful and proud of America.Article continues after this message from our sponsor

Freedom to whisper against kings
My grandmother who carried her green card 
in the broken tattoos on her back

I am thankful that other people are still trying to come here.
I am thankful for the vastness of our borders and the beauty of our natural lands.

Sunshine streaming softly 
while we sip our morning coffee.
But across the oceans our troops fight
ensuring that we keep our rights, 
to give us a land of the free.
For the first responders
For hope

I am thankful for America’s history, warts and all. 
Our past, full of light and dark, 
Read the history 
of heroes and villains 
See our country for what it is.

Free Press and Free speech
to speak out against injustices in our country,

For family
For places to walk safely
places to paddle
arcades of trees
varied, inexpensive food
tools and workplaces
longtime friends who listen
tennis courts

Indoor plumbing,

to worship whoever we want, 
to say whatever we want,
to go wherever we want.

for the public libraries. 
They raise up voices whom others attempt to silence.

for diversity. 
For differences 
My son is transgender and I am grateful for those who treat HER with respect and kindness.

for Cape May; for parties on the Fourth of July; for anarchist coffee shops; for church-run thrift stores; hole-in-the-wall BBQ joints; Lake Michigan; Vinny’s Pizzeria in the 90s; beer delivery in a snow storm;

for second, third and fourth chances. 
For forgiveness. 
I am thankful that my hybrid existence, hinted by my brown skin and slanted eyes, can make sense in America.

For many spectacular parks in our nation–from the huge and awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the tiny neighborhood park with the small playground and the pretty benches painted by local artists.

I am grateful that America can change, too. 
for the millions who take to the streets, 
challenge authority, 
insist on change, 
demand justice, 
resist evil, tell their stories,

Wrought through division
Sustained by freedom’s hope
Seeking reunion 
I am thankful for America, most of the time.

Thank you, America,
For the mom and pop shops and rest stops.
For the back roads and the beaten paths.
For the love that greets me when I come home.

For the dream to become, 
the dream to make better or different, 
the dream to inspire, 
the dream of something on the other side 
of whatever is facing us in the moment

  by Kwame Alexander  

Reprinted from, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving 18 (collage) by Gina Maranto. Copyright Gina Maranto 2018 All rights reserved

2 thoughts on “Thank You, America — a poem collage by Kwame Alexander

    1. Same to you-we’re at the cottage in Wellfleet. Brrrrrr! Building a tiny house at Wellfleet–90% finished! so please plan to come and visit, as you will have your own digs.


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