a look at some of the injustices within the United States of America,
a country that is no stranger to deep-rooted, systemic issues, including racism.
to the tune of “All Star” by Smash Mouth.
somebody once told me: “America’s so awesome!
without all our wars we’d have no peace.”
on dollar bills and TV, made sure we knew by grade three:
“you’ll be saved by the Pledge of Allegiance!”
well, the wars start coming and they don’t stop coming.
“fed up with kings, made Loyalists go running.
didn’t make sense not to live for us;
Creator of freedom is with ye!
red, White, and blue, true destiny!
ignore the protests and suffering,
the Trail of Tears, all those enslaved,
feed the melting pot and its flame.”
at seventeen, I announced my plans to visit a different solar system;
"you're not going there!" scoffed a neighbour.
"yes, I am - I'm going in two weeks."
my visit went very well;
at eighteen, I moved to that solar system.
as a newcomer, I found myself in discussions about intergalactic matters.
I would comment on how I liked the new solar system and felt at home;
"we're not perfect," said one resident, "we have problems too."
"I know," I responded, "but the major problems in the solar system I came from
either don't exist here or are much less significant."
Jordan selected trays of red flowers from the shop’s garden display - Avery had discovered the need for two more in the midst of planting. children’s voices floated from the school playground across the street; Jordan smiled at the joy warmer spring days brought.
inside the shop, Jordan waited in line to pay, attempted to resist the cute chocolate eggs with toys inside, then, resistance failing, selected two, knowing Avery’s good-natured teasing would only last temporarily. plus, Jordan was bringing the flowers.
“more bad news,” said the person at the front of the line, motioning to a newspaper. “soon it’ll be just like that here.”
Jordan glanced at the headline and remained quiet. news certainly made the two countries seem quite alike, but eighteen years lived experience in one, and over a decade in the other, made Jordan aware of many subtle yet important distinctions.