What if we replaced every flagpole with a tree?
Flags were designed as a symbol of affiliation –
I have never pledged allegiance to the United States of America,
Because that is not where my loyalties lie.

I am a child of Mother Earth.
It is she who gives me life,
Not my country.
I’m not foolish enough to say,
“Living here affords me no privileges,”
But I’ve become too aware of our dark deeds
To only bask in the light.

Like a flagpole,
Our prejudice is cemented in our very foundation,
And it will take hard labor to pry it out.
But this will be a labor
Not of body,
But of spirit.
We must let ourselves be drenched in the emotional sweat
Of facing the hard truths.

It’s easier to let ourselves get lost in the stars,
And ignore the battle of “Red” and “White”
That birthed this nation.
But we are tasked with revealing the skeletons in our skyscrapers,
And witnessing the blood that runs beneath our roads.

We will never reverse the damage we’ve done
To the Earth and her people.
But we can give
The red back to the earth,
The white back to the sky,
And the blue back to the oceans,
And give up our petty allegiance
To a country that has
And done everything in its unfettered power
To renege on its pledge to the people.

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