An Almost 84-Year-Old’s Dream of a Nation Joining Hands

by on April 12, 2022 · 2 comments

in From the Soul

By Ernie McCray

Days away
from my
84th birthday
I still dream
a fantasy
where people
join hands
to bring hopeful changes
to a troubled land.

This wish has persisted
|because we’ve
come a long way
as a nation
in the spirit of this mission,
but too often it’s been
in a one step forward
two steps backwards fashion
like dancers performing
a grand jete
in a moonwalking
kind of way,
repeating, in moments,
how we behaved in earlier days,
my boyhood days,
a time when people
of Japanese descent
were interned
because of America’s
fear of them
based on stereotypes
of them
riding in the winds
of hysterical conversations
wherein they were spoken of as
treacherous and murderous
animalistic human beings
in possession of uncontrollable
wicked tendencies –
and now Muslims
are looked down
and frowned upon
as our enemies,
if you please.

And then, in spite of thoughts
such as these
we’ve sometimes proceeded lovingly,
crafting laws to ensure the safety
of queer folks
and trans folks
and folks
a rainbow of hues,
yet now there’s talk
of banning the use
of the word gay
in our schools
and a Black woman
who now sits
in the highest court in the land
has been ridiculed
as a
“critical-race-theory” extremist,
as though that’s not hip,
taking into consideration
that such a hypothesis
gives us the lowdown
on how and why
our nation’s form of racism exists…
Every judge alive
should be into this.

So, as I segue
into my 84th year
of revolving around the sun,
I acknowledge
there still remains much work
to be done
by us Americans
along the lines
of race
and human relations,
and it’s being done
on a number of fronts,
keeping alive my willingness
to continue struggling
to create the nation I want
as I tend
to indulge my fantasies –
as that allows me to age
with dignity
and relative ease.

Happy birthday to me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen Barfield April 12, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Wow! happy birthday, brother, and hope springs eternal. As long as the experiment is alive there is hope that we can make it better. Aloha, Glen


Dave Baldwin April 18, 2022 at 9:10 pm

Happy birthday to you, Ernie, and thank you for this outstanding poem.


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