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Mhelaney Noel Feb 21
America was never just great
It was flawed first
It is practically an accident
But better here than India
The explorers came, and faster than a cinnamon skinned Arawak Native American woman could yell “the colonialists are coming!” The men in lily-white shirts shoved the unsuspecting indigenous off their land.

The explorers were as lost as Louis and Clark without Sacajawea
But a determined pedophelic peony planted itself in the deep brown soil
The invasive plant started a genocidal streak all over the continent
In return it won a couple cities and holiday and the Native Americans were bestowed with accidental exposure to smallpox and enslavement.  

To repay them we allotted reservations where people live in crippling poverty, put Sacajawea on a coin and Pocahontas in a movie yet we cannot fully allow them into our society, our neighborhoods, our schools because they are uncivilized.

The only people who have any business being on this continent are uncivilized. What a shame.

America still is not great
It still shows scars and old behaviors from the 1400s, 1800s, 60s and even yesterday. The Band-Aid was applied but the wound never washed, never sewn up.
So it sets, burgundy bruises and gore gaping at our present, our future.
America’s past is far darker than anyone’s skin but is accepted while brown complexions are not. America’s roots are not up for discussion, white supremacy is not real.

We are imagining things.

We weren’t turned away at white linoleum restaurant counters, we haven’t been isolated from the rest of the country, our sufficiency in the English language hasn’t been questioned, our bodies haven’t been sexualized, politicized
It’s all in our heads.

Our heads, spinning with fiction, are buried
Sinking towards the earth’s core, waiting to come out of the other side where oppression is not pressing down on us like a molten red brick wall. Our brown heads will come up out of the grass and be greeted by the sun and all will welcome us.
I promise I don't hate the U.S.
Mhelaney Noel Feb 21
Honor /an inadequacy/

To continue forward despite unimaginable obstacle.
When your children don’t have shoes
And you’ve left everything else behind
When you’re willing to face a new land’s problems in place of your home’s
Because you have nowhere else to go.
Mhelaney Noel Feb 21
Everyone says it gets better after middle school but
High school isn’t much better
In that stage of their lives
Everyone cares way too much about other people
What they’re wearing
What really happened on that school trip
Where she’s sitting at prom
Why they haven’t broken up yet

And college isn’t really better it’s different
We’re less concentrated
Physically and mentally
We’re filled on the inside so there’s no room
For other people’s lives
The difference in college is that we care less
And more
About different things

I don’t know if that makes us better or worse.
This was originally posted on my Instagram, @mhelanin_writes.
Mhelaney Noel Feb 16
The American people are lotuses
Grown out of the murk
We’re periwinkle pretty, but we have residue on some of our petals
And one could drain the swamp, but we’d still be in it, withering in the harsh sunlight
They could select only the fairest lotuses to be preserved, but nature would be disturbed, mutated
The indigo birds that drink our nectar would be betrayed
Then they too would leave us
And leave the aphids without prey
In the absence of deep pink flowers nature would start to cave in on itself and white-hot turmoil would fester and procreate
So invaluable to us is our gradient of flowers
They were meant to be part of our roots, their magentas and mauves keep us balanced
Keep us from turning over into the muddy water where sunlight cannot grace our petals.
This poem was first published by the America Library of Poetry in their 2019 student anthology, Futures.

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