What is old is new?

I wrote a poem in high school, sometime between 1968 and 1971. It expressed what I felt going on around me. We had already seen the Watts
and Kent State riots, the Manson family had murdered Sharon Tate, protests against the Vietnam war were ongoing, and Watergate was just beginning. The Hong Kong flu was raging. Today’s headlines feel like déjà vu. It feels like we’ve been here before. Maybe we have, maybe the earlier experiences were just warnings that worse was to come.

I still believe in America, in our vision of equality and justice. But our reality is far from it today. Unless we recommit ourselves to that vision, to living together with respect, fairness and kindness, I fear the vision will go down in flames.

An echo from my past, reverberating again:

They Say My Country Is Dying

They say she’s been in this world too long.

They say her day has come and gone.

She was the daughter of a lofty idea.

She was born of men’s sweat and tears and blood.

But they say my country is dying.

They say it’s wrong for men to believe.

They say loyalty and God are dead.

She was sustained by faith and love.

She breathed and cried and was alive.

But they say my country is dying.

They say freedom must triumph over all.

They say the system is wrong, and they thirst for blood.

She says freedom must triumph over all.

She lets them thirst and talk and shout.

And they say my country is dead.

                   –Katherine Pritchett

Please, think before you speak or react or share a post. We, the people, the everyday people, can stop this madness by seeing each other as people, not “the other.” We all bleed red.

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