With Thanks, and Apologies…
By Rowan Green
From the first day we met, you watched over us. As we persevered over those first harsh winters, and took from you what we needed, you watched over us.
When we fought our first wars, and took from you what we needed… you watched over us.
As we learned to build our fledgling nation, swearing to guard freedom and protect you from all that would harm you, you watched over us.
As we wrote our constitution and declared we would now make peace instead of war, you watched over us.
When we took from their homes our brothers and sisters, bringing them to you against their wishes, weeping, you gathered your resolve, and you watched over us.
We fought amongst ourselves, brother against brother with terrible weapons… numb and hurt, you watched over us.
Four long years you waited, in the hopes that we would come to our senses. As the final battles wound down, you breathed a sigh of relief, and you watched over us.
We tore though your body and stripped you of resources to build our railroads in our ravenous hunger to expand… writhing in pain, you watched over us.
You watched as we continued to learn and expand, moving from candles and oil lamps, to electric lightbulbs and gas powered cars. Optimistic for your children, and hopeful for the future… you waited, and you watched over us.
You rejoiced with us as we prospered, thankful that we found ourselves safe in your arms. Like a mother who holds her children in her arms… you watched over us.
Times were hard, sometimes, but you were always there. We might skin our knees, or fall down as we learned to run, but you were there to pick us up. As we marched on, you watched over us.
As we went to war not once but twice… you feared for your children, and for a whole generation of young people who were there one day, and the next were simply… gone. You never gave up, and were there for us as we dusted ourselves off and declared we would do better. With a sigh of relief, you watched over us.
As many of your oppressed sons and daughters stood tall, and declared enough is enough… you gave thanks, and watched over us. As we integrated, making moves to become one people… you smiled down, and watched over us.
As we moved into another period of prosperity, where our spending was balanced with our earnings… you gave thanks, and you watched over us.
But now things have gone awry, and we’ve lost our way. We’ve taken the greatest of what you had to give, and squandered it. We chose to ignore what was going on, shrugged our shoulders and said, there was nothing we could do about it. With a sense of foreboding, you watched over us.
We elected the “lesser of two evils” for years, watching as they mismanaged and stole what you had to offer for themselves. Lies and posturing, campaigning and all but slandering your name became the order of the day, and aghast, you watched over us.
But now there is no more to give. You can no longer stand by and watch as your children declare they are more important than you are. The mother who stood with us, and watched over us no matter what, always hoping and believing we could do better… has finally lost the will she had to continue.
You watch, but in terror. Some might say you have a few years left, while others continue to believe all is well. Their heads are in the sand, and you openly weep as you breathe your last.
Our apologies, Mother. You gave everything you could, and we took it all and more. You gave us all you had… and instead of gratitude, you got greed. I cannot blame you, for finally giving up.
You had a good run. Thank you, America, and good night.
3 thoughts on “With Thanks, and Apologies…”
Beautifully written, Rowan. Thank you.
I love haunting near-poetry that gives you bits to think on for some time to come. Let us hope we remember her in time.
Deeply moving, Rowan, and beautifully expressed. Thank you.