We All Sing America Now
I sing America, too.
I sing America the beautiful, America the ugly,
washed in the blood, cast in the pit,
on loan and drawing interest.
I sing America broad and bold,
cold and hot, rich and poor, dirty and clean.
I sing America on the silver screen.
I sing her golden on wings of wax.
I sing America’s spacious skies and equally her specious lies.
I sing her mountains majestic, purpled and passioned
with rock and snow; and her waves of ambered grain.
I sing America on Elm and on Main.
I sing America lullabies!
I sing America’s blues, her smooth cool jazz,
the rockabilly swing of garage bands doing cover tunes,
bubble gum pop and country-western ballads,
soundtracks, remixes, John Cage and his chance variations.
I sing America loud, piano man.
I sing America corporate. Her white collar crimes
and petty thieves tossing crumbs at stool pigeons.
Overfilled jail cells, missing children and battered wives,
homeless men and the men who once employed them, just
and unjust wars, illegal aliens and the landlords who house them.
I sing America’s colors.
I sing of her blue and gray, her black and white,
and all the colors of the rainbow. The colors
of Whitman in his hospital room
kissing the soldiers calling out Mama’s name
and Langston with his brothers pushing brooms.
I sing all the colors just the same.
Ye poor, ye tired, ye huddled masses,
ye Shinseki’d, ye whistle blowers,
ye union workers on the docks,
school teachers, ministers, truck drivers,
farmers, all ye who toil and labor for a day,
even you self employed filing 1099s,
put down your awl, your pike, your oil of production,
put down your picket sign, your peace sign, your sign of second comings,
put down your axe, America,
pick up your flag and sing.