27 September 2017

Going Higher

Painting by Zimand, 1991

Red-white-and-blue was my swaddling at birth.
Frozen in blood, pale skin and night sky,
the colors grew heavy as time flew by.

Oh! to reroute America! to rise
up way beyond what Walt Whitman sings,
out from the history our limited flag brings.

From its greed, thievery and violence
we can unbind, pull out the stitches that
keep us un-kind, often brutal and flat—

Let’s round the pieces in-to a balloon
not bound by past mistakes, stripes or scars
but able to travel as high as stars.

or skew the rectangle till it’s a diamond
and stripe a tail on its starry field
to see what unlimited height can yield.

Oh! to renew America! to rise
up way beyond the liberty bell’s song
beyond the history our flag holds too long.

Red-white-and-blue was my swaddling at birth.
Gifted with red blood, many skins and skies
the symbol must change as time goes by.


For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Rising Above



My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast


18 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOW! This is a stunner. Fantastic, Susan. And so timely. The weight of that flag is indeed heavy.

Thotpurge said...

A terrific poem Susan... absolutely wonderful.

Khaya Ronkainen said...

Oh, this is beautiful, Susan. It's almost like a plea.

Nicholas said...

This is a fine, patriotic poem Susan. I like its call to rise!

indybev said...


This is a stirring poem, full of patriotism and hope. Well said.

Gillena Cox said...

Grand poetic invocation. My favourite stanza

"Let’s round the pieces in-to a balloon
not bound by past mistakes, stripes or scars
but able to travel as high as stars."

much love...

Marja said...

Love it love how you want to rise above by skewing and rounding in different shapes. Absolutely love the last stanza

Carrie Van Horn said...

"Oh to renew America to rise up way beyond the liberty bells song beyond the history our flag holds too long" Powerful and amazing line Susan! Such a wonderful message and a time it is needed most!!

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Dear Dr Susan deep love of land overflows as the desire to see a brighter peaceful future keeps stirring and hoping..may your land be the best..may we all see the Light of truth friendship equality and trust between nations amen..a truly great poem..must be read worldwide...https://eternallights.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/for-poets-united-midweek-motif-peace-what-is-peace/

Sumana Roy said...

"Gifted with red blood, many skins and skies
the symbol must change as time goes by.".....Let this be the song of humanity. A fantastic poem Susan. Rhythm works magic here.

Sarah Russell said...

An anthem for our times. And I'm taken by the rhyme scheme as well. Great write, Susan.

Old Egg said...

It is sad to realize that one's country is not what you thought it was. Emnity, discord and mistrust are strange bedfellows in the land of the free. Hopefully time will sooth all bias and emnity and reason and trust will win through.

pc said...

That is just wrong.

annell4 said...

An interesting write of red, white and blue.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I think what we need is not a new symbol (there's nothing inherently wrong with the American flag), but to invest our old symbol with new meaning. It seems to me that your poem is pointing in that direction.

rallentanda said...

I think there are a lot of unresolved problems from the past in your country.Your nation's wealth was built on the backs of slaves..This wrong can never be made right but attempts must be made by granting justice and reparations to their descendants.I don't think there will be any harmony until this issue is addressed and resolved.It has been ongoing for far too long and the consequences can only bring upheaval and unrest for everyone.

Mary said...

Indeed, Susan! We really need that renewal. Badly. I hope we can find a way.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

May what you wish come to pass!