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AMERICA, OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE

Mikaela Curry

 

My Country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty

America, of thee I wonder what you mean when you say,

Give me your tired, your poor

Because not too tired, not too poor

Because even birth can be a preexisting condition,

any turn of health a devastating imposition

and certain care only available for the price of admission

 

MY COUNTRY, YOUR COUNTRY, THIS COUNTRY

AMERICA, OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE

OF THEE WE PLEAD, FOR THOSE IN NEED

 

America, of thee we sing –

songs of grief and worry, songs of sickness and debt

songs to Lady Liberty, I wonder would she have wept?

For the cause of her people, for care for you and me

 

She said, give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

But what if they needed help, what if breathing wasn’t free?

Would the treatment be too costly, would they fall through the cracks?

Would the weight of their own sickness be born upon their backs?

 

People talk of taxes, people talk of jobs, people talk of people as though they are to blame

for getting sick, for being poor, for needing help – the shame!

 

But this is not the way that it always has to be

There are enough resources to care for you and me

 

MY COUNTRY, YOUR COUNTRY, THIS COUNTRY

AMERICA, OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE

OF THEE WE PLEAD, FOR THOSE IN NEED

 

Land where my fathers died

where generations have tried—to construct a system

worthy of that pilgrim’s pride

and of failings we know that there haven’t been few

There are problems and gaps, but victories too –

Let us not halt progress for political views

 

But, more let us see that those who do suffer

are never the nameless, but always our brother

 

and sisters and children without clean water to drink

Death slowly dripping from their own kitchen sink

Don’t forget or ignore it, or go on your way

because this isn’t all happening in a place far away:

 

MY COUNTRY, YOUR COUNTRY, THIS COUNTRY

AMERICA, OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE

OF THEE WE PLEAD, FOR THOSE IN NEED

 

For basic human rights, for basic human care

For compassion over profits, for people everywhere

For higher care, for lower costs, for not letting the people find themselves lost

 

Because it’s always the poor who pay the cost first

and it’s always the poor who are treated the worst

 

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me

Oh America, land that loves to call itself free,

while its people are dying and shackled in debt

healthcare held hostage – our lives pay the threat

 

People do not have to die cause they’re poor

Together we stand up and we stand up for more:

 

MY COUNTRY, YOUR COUNTRY, THIS COUNTRY

AMERICA, OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE

OF THEE WE PLEAD, FOR THOSE IN NEED

 

From every stretch of highway, to the mountains and the sea –

let our voices rise, with strength and dignity

Singing songs of truth that we are not alone,

and sometimes we need healing for all this flesh and bone

 

Healthcare for all people, let us stand to fight –

Let us clearly see the need for this basic human right

 

 

 

POEMS

Luminous Human (from Eclectica) 

Daffodils (from Panoply)