My Country ‘Tis of Thee - The New, Old Colossus

by malcolm x johnson

Upon the roofs of ghetto tenements stands the sun.

Glancing down at flower beds 
orphans awaken out of acidic soils, 
watered with the tears of somber mothers 
surrendered to gated communities

somewhere to be lost and thus, 
nowhere to be found

and such is the wind, 
braiding the hair of weeping willows
on the cracked stoops of reality

and I see Uncle Sam
peddling dime bags of patriotism
to dismembered veterans returning from war

As Ms. Liberty crip walks 
across town to the pawnshop.

Pawning her torch so that she may feed
her illegitimate children
freedom soup for supper

‘Not freedom soup again” the children pout

She sends them to bed 
with empty stomachs 
and kisses which patronize their dreams

As she tucks them into their section eight cribs 
and sings them lullabies of lost liberation 

while breast-feeding their nightmares

Deciding to freestyle the last verse:

‘Give me your tired, 
your poor your huddled masses 
yearning to breathe free 
and I’ll blind their vision with the sun, 
jack their culture 
bury their shattered souls beneath me’

My Country ‘Tis of Thee - The New, Old Colossus by malcolm x johnson

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