in my country

from “In My Country”
 
This is not my country.
In my country, men
do not play at leaders
women do not play at men
there is no god
crucified to explain
the persistence of cruelty.
 
In my country
i don’t hesitate to sit
alone in the park, to go
to the corner store at night
for my child’s milk, to wear
anything that shows my breasts.
 
In my country
i do not stand for cutbacks,
layoffs, and pay union dues
companies do not close down
to open up again in far-off
places where eating is the
main objective
 
In my country
mend do not sleep with guns
beneath their pillows.  They
do not accept jobs building weapons.
They don’t lose their mortgages, pensions,
their faith or their dignity.
 
In my country
children are not abused
beaten into adulthood
left with sitters who resent them
for the meager salary a single parent
can afford.  They do not grow up
to repeat the pattern.
 
 
In my world, i breathe clean air.
i don’t anticipate nuclear war.
i speak all languages.  i don’t
negate aging, listen to myths
to explain my misery or create them.
 
In my world the poet sang loud
and clear and everyone heard
without recoiling.  It was sweet
as harvest, sharp as tin, strong
as the northern wind, and all had
a coat warm enough to bear it.

 -Ana Castillo, from My Father was a Toltec

Bring on Castillo’s world of poetic equality!

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1 Comment

Filed under literature review, manifestos, poems, protest song ancestors, protest songs, truth speakers

One response to “in my country

  1. Elias

    one of the greatest poems ever! Thank you Ana Castillo!

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