Open Hearts and Arms and Minds

What did I ever do to fill you with such rage,

That you would see me dead, my ink wiped from the page?

Can I not just live my life, without the fear of murder

Because of skin or faith or tongue? Or is it something further

 Afield than these ideas, some unimagined sin,

Committed all unknowing, that raises all this din?

Please attend my friend, before you pull the trigger,

Let us embrace instead, not make the difference bigger!

I assure you friend, I bear you zero malice

Whether you reside in bayt or yurt or palace.

This Is Not My America

“Oh say can you see” does not mean

We turn a blind eye to injustice.

“By the dawn’s early light” does not mean

We can ignore our dark past.

“Proudly we hailed” does not allow us

To look down upon others with disdain.

“Twilight’s last gleaming” does not imply

Our best days are behind us.

“Broad stripes” are not labels

With which we paint our fellow man.

“Bright Stars” don’t refer to

Tinseltown tabloid headliners.

“The perilous fight” is not talking about

The two year long presidential election process.

“Over ramparts we watched” isn’t 

A reference to the walls of our gated communities.

“Gallantly Steaming” is not about

Binge watching “Game of Thrones” on wifi.

“Rockets red glare” is not a commentary

On the lackluster performance of an NBA team.

“Bombs bursting in air” is absolutely not

About a demeaning sexual scenario!

“Our flag was still there” isn’t a call for

Ill conceived military adventurism.

“That Star-Spangled Banner” is not some

Holy relic to be worshiped and praised.

And most importantly

“The land of the free” does not mean

People are free to shoot police and

“The home of the brave” does not mean

Black men have to be brave to leave home.