Chests swell thinking of what it means to be patriotic.
Shoulders shake nowadays
moving to cover a heart, and begin the recitation.
Hat in hand, eyes on the red, white and blue
wondering when recognition will strike—
the perfect time to reach a fist
up and out of the encroaching infernal hatred
this country has cultivated
in fields tended by the hands of minorities
who have been fooled into dreaming
here, anything is possible.
Here – under a crème brûlée sun
crisping up the creamy custard clouds.
Here—slowly, over centuries desire burns
to understand how hard it is to speak
about the craving for sweet, delicious freedom
promised us after eating all our vegetables,
picking all the cotton
and sitting quietly, ladylike
waiting and hiding with a charred tongue,
nostrils filled with smoke and gas,
backs cracking under others’ silver spoons and black batons.
Here—where fact-checkers cringe
behind clicking cameras—on and off.
The stage lights illuminating how ugly
the truth is they’ve found.
When did knowledge get so risky?
How can anyone ease the rage
making chests swell
thinking of what it means to be a patriot.
Hannah Rose is a recent graduate of CCSU with a quick wit, a big heart, and an elastic mind. She still shakes when she reads aloud and writes her drafts in notebooks with black pen; never blue. She recently wrote for The Mark Twain House & Museum and is currently a staff writer for Blue Muse Magazine.