"Lady Bird Johnson" - Kabnpauj Xiong


America the beautiful,
The country of little girls listening to lullabies
Of wind waltzing on pine tree clouds,
She is sick.

The city streets are diseased,
Lacking light,
Factory smoke masquerades as natural sky.
Give them daffodils.
Filled to the roots with natural gold,
Let us plant hope.

Her complexion is pallid,
White like the knuckles around her throat,
We have enshrouded her in a chemical mask.
Give her a bouquet of cherry trees.
Their blooms will bring pink rain
To revive cheeks long deprived of maidenly blush.

She has been raped,
Her purity defiled by hands greedy for more,
Always more.
Violent in our conquest of her bounty,
We are making her bleed.
Give apologies of dogwood
White, innocent even in the absence of virginity.

Skies that have grown tired of destruction
Hang dreary and dead and gray.
Still pollution-filled lungs gasp for oxygen.
Give her a rainbow of pansies,
Let us make a promise of change.
After all, beautiful skies need not fall on our heads.

The order and disorder of the flowering earth,
She is the home of my heart.