How To Be American

To be aghast 
at our ghosts
without admitting that
they remain among us
is to be willfully
American.

To be comfortable
in this haunted home,
oblivious to what 
some feel
in its most sunlit rooms, 
is to be carelessly
American.

To laugh off every
chill as merely historic
or imaginary,

to turn away from
the ancestral familiarity
of those faces of 
menace past and present,
is to be blindly
American.

Not to see
any of the ghosts,
not to see them
in every corridor, closet, 
basement, school,
prison, or mirror,
is to be resolutely
American, is practically

to define
“American”, is the
quintessential practice

of being
American.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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