Once I was old and glorious.
Once my children held tightly together,
little stars all shiny and proud.
Each different, each honored to belong
to a greatness history had never seen.
And there was a time they were torn.
Miraculously, they held together through unbearable pain
and horrifying shedding of brotherly blood.
A death-to-the-end fight for equality,
a noble fight, my children fought.
I have been bravely carried and planted
in places on this earth man had never seen.
I have been to the moon!
I have been dug from the rubble,
and resurrected like a phoenix,
to inspire courage and strength to go on.
I have witnessed moments, and have been proud.
I have witnessed moments, and have been ashamed.
Once I was sacred.
Desecrating me for political gain would have been a thing
only an enemy would dare do.
Today, cowards falsely embrace me with sham patriotism,
and unbridled hypocrisy.
They drape themselves with me.
Bent on abolishing their freedoms, they rip my children apart.
Now I am tired, faded, and need of repair.
Who will mend me?
Who will see my agony, and take a kind loving hand to me?
I have been steadfast, I have never wavered,
I have been here for you all.
I have led you through battles with your bodies,
through battles for your souls.
And now you desert me, you use me to destroy your neighbors.
What will become of me? What is this fear I have yet to ever feel?
Will the evil in man's heart, will his insatiable worship
of power, of money, be my demise?
To fly again, all new and whole, to fly with my children united,
my threads mended, my colors brilliant, to be strong and proud again.
This is my hope, this is my dream.
Who will mercifully mend me? I ask.
Lorraine Parish July 4, 2018
published by The Vineyard Gazette