Archive for July 5, 2022

American Gifts

(This is a poem written by my boyfriend, A. Lee Lucas who came here as a child from Trinidad)

My family came here, on the Mayflower’s deck
To practice our ways, without risking our necks.
Here since the 1600s, American as pumpkin pie.
American for generations, and this is where I’ll die.

Our ancestors braved the winter’s cold
Established our colonies and our homes.

New York, New Hampshire, Boston and Providence
This new continent, is now our residence.

My gift to you as an American is history and longevity.

Been here since the 1600s, and you think you’re set.
Our culture is older, than your alphabet.
Letters on treaties, that are never honored.
At least we’re allowed to vote, in our Reservation’s squalors.

This was always our land, and always our home.
Long before the British crown, or the dawn of Rome.  

We were nearly wiped out, but we will persevere.
Like the 7 grandfathers, or brother Bear.

My gift to you as an American is rememberence.

We didn’t disappear.  

My ancestors were expendible, according to the Quing
Didn’t want stay in the Middle Kingdom, and be nothing.

We blew up mountains, rocks, hills and stone.
We knew we would be even more expendible, if we stayed home.

Came out east to do some hard but profitable work.
Excluded us from this country, we died in the desert.

Now San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle is our generational land.
I can say “a berry is still in my belly” upon any demand.

If your family has been here for over a century, you can make those sayings..

As American as chop suey, egg rolls, and lo mein.  

My gift to you as An American, is recognition

My Great Great Grandfather Chang Ling Ho built this country.

I, Leiutenant Jonathan Chang IV of the US Navy finally got recognition for his ancestor’s contributions to this country.

We’re not even on the North American continent.
We became a part of you, by a tragic accident.

Our hula dances are older than your nationhood
We take the wiki wiki to celebrate statehood
We saw our country die, In Queen Lydia’s carriage.
We became a star on the flag, in a forced marriage.

Different customs, but we’re America’s daughters and sons
Our history and culture, is now in the English Tongue

My gift to you as an American is also longevity.  And recognition.  And history.  And also forgiveness.  

We are one out of 50, but we’re one in a million.   Sushi made with spam.  Haka before the Warriors vs Cowboys game.  

My ancestors worked hard for this country too.
But we didn’t see a paycheck, and only lived ’til 32.

African without the history, American without the privilege
They hung my great granduncle, on the railroad bridge.

We didn’t land on plymouth rock, it landed on us.
Now we ride proudly, in the front of the bus.

America isn’t free, until we are too.
This nation is somewhat free, lord we grew.

My gift to you as an American is introspection.
Some people are more free than others.  

Others need to be as free too.

I am the black ancestor who came here on a boat.
At least I got paid for all of my hard work

Told constantly I didn’t belong, from both black and white.
I worked all day, and I studied all night.

I built my business from the ground up.
Went from being employed, now I pay up.

Hard work is a virtue, you need it to run in a headwind.
Never a slave in America, but I worry about my kids.

The second greatest words I uttered, were “I do”
The greatest words I uttered were “I solemnly swear to”

Huddled, hungry, and for a long time poor.
The banana boat, is permanently marooned, on the shore.

My gift to you as an American is hard work and becoming a new American.
I’m an American too.  It just took me a long time to come home.

That’s a nice story you have to tell to the rest of the class.
But you spent a lot of money to come here, and you’re not here en masse.
This is the only country, I have ever really ever known
I think of here, when the racists want to send me back home.
I have a dream, and America also does too.
When can I ever, become as American as you?  
I guess it was my fault for my parents coming from Durango with a stroller.
America needs people like me, because I have the potential to be a high roller.
Living in the shadows of a country that is really mine, but not really.
It must be nice to take a long time to come home, to your big house in the city.

But things will change. I hope.

My gift to you as an American is being an American… of very distant Mexican birth.  

That lady up there’s related to my ancestor’s cousin!  

The border crossed us, we didn’t jump ship.
All because some American immigrants, wanted some blacks to whip.
Six flags over a land, where we lived on for centuries.
This is still our country, no matter our nationality.

We’re told to go home, by people who moved here 20 years ago.
We’ve been here longer than that, my great great gramps was navajo.

Picking the cotton and tending to the cattle.
Spaniards to Mexicans to Texans to Americans
To Dixies back to Americans, because of some battles.

This has always been my country, for many years going.
I wish people would comprehend that, but it’s rare to be knowing.

My gift to you as an American is understanding.  America is a very complicated nation.

You can wave your Southern Cross, do your Rebel Yell.
There are a lot of Gray hat folks, who are burning in Hell.
In the land of hurricanes, snakes and aligators,
Why in God’s name, do we honor these barbaric traitors?

Our country was founded on freedom, they were along for the ride.
My stomach chortles, whenever I hear “War Eagle” or “Roll Tide”.

Us Yankees gave our lives, for America to be free.
Descendent of a Yankee soldier, Always will love this country.

My gift to you as an American is loyalty.  To our principles.  To our constituion.  To America.  In that order.

When I saw the planes hit the buildings on 9/11
I waited on my 18th birthday, which was on 10/7

I signed up to be a member of the US Marines.
I quickly learned, we were all different shades of green.

I was in the sandbox, giving a Ba’athist a lead bath.  
Didn’t blow up the trade center, but Saddam did laugh.

He didn’t last long, in his tiny spiderhole.
What I saw shocked me, when I came home.

My local mosque in my town, was burned to the ground.
I guess we’re not all different shades of green, as I found.

This isn’t my America.    

My America shouldn’t be like this.  

But is is.

My gift to you as an American is learning to see the difference between governments and people.  

Both foreign and Domestic.

Salaam.   Peace.

Give us your huddled masses, and all of your poor.
The English stole our land, we were inside out Moors.
Headed out West, where we tried for some new hope.
We need not apply, they thought we were all dopes.

From Boston to New York, Chicago and Saint Paul.
They needed us for assistance, to prevent their downfall.
Play a harp, as the sun shines upon the harp’s chest.
Every March, they would rather be one of us instead.

My gift to you as an American is the American experience itself.

There’s no America without the Irish.  

We were the bad guys, let’s all jump on ol Dixie
But you run away from a black professional, rather quickly.

My heritage isn’t hate, it’s love for my region.
We did many horrible things, But I don’t think it was treason.

Philando Castile, George Floyd, and other black Yankees.
Died at the hands of the cops, up north Ain’t So Dandy.

Land of hurricanes, snakes and aligators.
Land of tornadoes, coyotes, and sunset staters.

Heritage, not hate.  I’m Dixie till I die.
We may not be perfect, but at least we don’t lie.

My gift to you as an American is honesty.

We say how we feel.

And we’re honest about how we need to grow as both a region and a nation.

Fly out to Saxony, you’ll see a proto-white American.
We’re around everywhere, our culture is reckoned.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels at ballgames and even our beer.
It’s damning evidence, to prove that we are resoundingly here.

Two wars made us have to hide our proud blood
A stupid Austrian made it impossible, for us to self-love.

My real last name is Baumeister, like the men from my ancesteral town.
But I’m mister Bowmister, they thought it would have a better sound.

De-Allemangize America, they tried to do as they could.
Chicken fried steak and barbecue sausage, are our favorite foods.

My gift to you as an American is visibility. You’re one of us, and you probably don’t know it yet.  

Pizza, ravioli, beef sandwiches, and spaghetti.
These were all strange foreign foods, until America was ready.
We were just as bad, according to them, as the black people.
We were always being profiled, and the cops were willing to pull the triggers.

Valerie Bertenelli, Joe Dimaggio, Rocky Marciano, and Franky Avalon
Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, and the Italian names go on and on.
There’s no America, without the Irish they will always howl and say.
But there’s no dinner in America, without our board and stay.  

My gift to you as an American is badda bing, badda boom, ravioli in your bedroom.

Kicked out of Poland, Russia, Germany and Spain
Came to America, from a boat, then on a train.
I got a joke for you, 16 candles, makes a lovely light.
You dumb yutz, you forgot to wrap the 2 pack menoriahs we got last night!

That’s the humor of my people, we had to laugh a lot to try to cope.
They killed us everywhere we went, we just wanted to find a happy home.
Despite being inferior people, we manage to control the media and the money source.
We control so much stuff, even though we’re notoriously weak sauce.

My gift to you as an American is humor.  

Jewish humor is American humor.


From the Japanese Hawaiians, to the Native and Russian Alaskans.
To the Midwestern Scandinavians, and the Natives in Montana.
To the Ohio Valley Greeks, and the Cajuns of New Orleans.
To the Miami Dade Cubans, and the Gulf and Midwestern Vietnamese
To the Poles of Chicago, and our Gullah in the Carolinas.

You make our country great, out of many, one, and we are finer.


July 5, 2022 at 7:04 am Leave a comment


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