By Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States, Member of the Muscogee Nation, from her book, “An American Sunrise”
A CALL AND RESPONSE
A country is a person.
A country is a noun, to be bought and sold. I have a deed.
The ruler’s disposition and rules determine the state of being for all constituents.
Each state governs itself without respect for individuals. It’s everyone for themselves.
Power is dangerous when wielded in the hands of one. It is meant to be shared.
I was given this position by cunning, by money, by sex, by family, by God. It belongs to me and no one else.
We cannot own anyone else, people, the lands, or resources. We are here to care for each other.
We are right. We build walls to keep anyone else who is not like us out of here. God gave us these lands. We separate children and cage them because they are breaking our God’s law.
Every increment of any thought, action, or deed matters, has consequences in all directions.
Not if you can make a law: Not if it passes the Supreme Court. Not if we pay for it.
There will be no balance without all voices present in the power circle.
You will never earn your way here. You are the wrong sex, wrong color of skin, wrong sexual orientation, not my religion, not my language.
We are making our grandchildren’s world with our words. We perceive a world in which everyone sits at the table together, with enough for everyone.
We will make this country great again.
10/5/2021 01:36:39 am
I wonder what this poem would be like if read as a call and response in a pulpit. Would it be too provocative?
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The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel is the VIII Bishop of Olympia, the Episcopal Church in Western Washington State. He has been the bishop here since September, 2007.