“Dear America”: The Winning Poem from NYU’s Constitution Day Slam 2018

“Dear America”: The Winning Poem from NYU’s Constitution Day Slam 2018

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Dear America, I think we need to talk. The constitution of this relationship isn’t working out. I think we need an amendment. On our first date you promised I would always be free to express myself. But when I told you that I hated the way you looked in your racism You threw tear gas in my eyes and convinced me I was only crying because of your beauty On date two, you said I would always be protected around you But you broke my fists when I raised them in resistance Blackened my eyes when they witnessed your injustice Shattered my knees when they knelt in earnest And shot my heart when it felt the pain of the millions you’ve oppressed When we first met, I saw the dreams that you had of justice pour out of your mouth like crashing waves Hopes of freedom and equality collided through the air. You said it would always be us, we the people. I thought we were the perfect union But how could we be perfect When the gifts you gave me were stolen? The labor of the Black slave The land of the Native Americans The freedom of the imprisoned Japanese The dreams of the undocumented immigrant On our 13th date you promised things would be different That you would finally learn how to love me. But your love affair with shackles and chains is far from over You just gave it a different name. Told me I deserved it because I broke your rules That I took the wrong steps That I was in the wrong place at the wrong time That I didn’t even deserve to be here Dear America, How am I supposed to win your game When you decided I would lose before I could even play Dear America, You were never great, you just told a great story One I hope comes true. But until it does, I’ll be standing here , being your guiding light. Signed, Your Lady always—Liberty

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