What is America?

America is my dad’s blue collar
Grandpap’s regal roses and
humble tomatoes
The mountains outside my window
And the 4th of July fireworks I watch
from my roof.

America is picnics, just because
Mom’s potato salad and
the home-made gnocchi
at Stephano’s on the corner

It’s school girls in blue plaid skirts
and Monday Night Football
Warm beer and bad hot dogs
at home games in the bleachers.

It’s the night sky
sparkling a thousand stars
and exhaling the scent of jasmine
and orange blossoms.

It’s young men and women in uniform
who say ma’am and sir
and go wherever they are called to
stand the watch.

It’s firefighters riding to the rescue
on long red trucks
facing the flames
despite the threat of becoming captive

The trucker who helps you
change a flat on the empty road
Endless highways and
open footpaths

It’s tap dancing and
baton twirling
band music
Jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll

It’s cowboys and cops
down home and up town
Wall street and main street
It’s vineyards and cattle ranches
Skyscrapers and the flat lands
The liberty bell
and the empty space in Manhattan

It’s Detroit city and L.A.
New York and San Francisco
Boise, Phoenix, Glendale, Sun City, Casper,
small towns, big towns
and wide open spaces

It’s barbecue ribs and pecan pie
It’s pot roast and pigs in a blanket
Iced tea and hot coffee

It’s innovation and tradition
History and unchartered territory

It’s helping hands
and open hearts
It’s rushing in when others
hesitate

My hand over my heart
when I sing…
Oh, say can you see…

It’s moms and dads
and the corner store
Lazy rivers and
roaring oceans

But mostly it’s the people
who carry inside
the certainty of personal liberties
whose pioneer spirit fosters
a can-do attitude
who never say, die
but try again
Who build their dreams
one brick at a time
who know that anything is
possible if you believe

copyright 2010

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