Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1532142-American-Stew
by fyn
Rated: E · Poetry · Cultural · #1532142
An entry for the 5 Day-5 Week Challenge based upon newspaper article prompts.
My great-grandparents traveled steerage to America
having been thrown off their lands during the famine.
They came with what could be fit in a simple trunk
leaving family, memories and hearts behind.
A sod house, a patch of rocks, a poor life
they exchanged for unknowing tomorrows.

Barely recovered from having lost a child some
where east of Boston, an infant given to stormy seas,
these two hardy souls gained positions cleaning house,
and keeping gardens for a new doctor--strange
man to these black Irish, a black man who fed
them dreams, while they scrubbed his floors.

I am an American. I need no hyphen to be who I am.
Born here, I grew here. Descendant of those
who survived 'No Irishers need apply.'
Why then do some feel the need to hyphenate
those who came generations before?
Are we not who we are: just-Americans?

There is no United Irish College Fund
to send my son to school, nor group to defend
the rights of poor sod farmer's get.
Nor should there be, for I was raised
to earn what I have, to learn what I can
with no excuse for what I have not.

I cannot fathom blame to generations past,
nor make excuse of feudal lord. I soldiered
for my country, I grab bootstraps and soldier on.
No coward I, but one small pea on a spoon
in America's stew pot. Better to season well
and be careful not to scorch the pan.

Yet it seems to me when the lights are dimmed
we are but one taste. We do not eat all the meat
and then the peas and then potatoes, we partake
of the combination. So then why do the masses persist
in celebrating petty divisions when together
they can create a feast?

I care not the color of a person's skin,
I care about the heart that beats within:
that piece of meat that makes the stew
looks exactly the same whether tis I or you.
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