America the Tarnished
by Tobi Cogswell

America is getting old,
the spots of age upon her hands
once open and graceful, now
curved and cupped to hold
the selfish hoarding of our
fears, eclipsing the idealism of
a young country. She has made love
to suitors, she has been raped
by God, she is getting old.

Her memory will fail her.
She will go time and time again
to the festivals, to the wars.
Tarnished and tangled, in her mind
she is upright and beautiful. She
will not ask for help, we will not force her.
We do what we are told by our parents
and aging though she is, she is our
mother, our home.

Sunrises will always cast the
pinks and golds, sunsets will
always cast the golds and grays.
Our canyons echo less and less
with the blind beauty of our birds,
and more with the calls of human
mothers mourning their sons, their
calls joining the shrouded Earthly veil
of other mothers, other places, other mourning.

She is aging, she is ill.
We need to exorcise the cancer,
give her more years
of quality of life, of pride and passion.
But when she finally dies there will
only be anger and politicians saying
"I didn't do it".
Will anyone be here
to bury her with dignity?

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