Op-Ed: An American Love Poem

I want those championing freedom
the patriots of peace
the ones who march into our schools
handcuff our history
hold our imaginations hostage
the so-called American dreamers

I want them
to uncage their hearts
to cast off their chains of fear
to remember the bedtime stories
that comforted them
when nightmares chased sleep away

to remember the first-grade teachers
who read them pictured fables
that showed them how to love themselves
and planted the seeds of possibility
that blossomed into their becoming

to remember how hopeful it felt
to be held by their mother’s songs and poems
on nights when thunder
ravaged the sky.

I want them to know
that banning a book
is like banning a hug
and that is a dismal storm
no child should be left behind in.

Last updated May 16, 2023