Hope – My Tattered Flag

Dark are the tides of these dark, dark times
And yet here I stand, clinging to this thing called “Hope”
And here I am filling these pages with weary rhymes
Angry, I stand, but still, I stand with hope.

I am no soldier, nor can I share a brave salute,
I am no wise man nor woman,
But I still I stand – resolute.

For Hope is no flowery thing,
No angel’s breath nor butterfly’s wing,
No, it is that flag to which I cling.

Yes, I say it loud, I shout it to the sky,
My hope is my flag, my battle cry,
My anchor, sunk down deep within the waters of the sea,
And, oh, I would sooner die
Then let you wrest my hope away from me.

And so you say, “You do not know of what you speak!
All is lost, lost I say,  you do not see!”

But, oh, I do, I do see, this havoc that we wreak.
I see the bodies of the famished, the hungry,
The bodies bloodied and washed upon the shore,
Drowned and drowned and drowned,
They lie upon the ocean’s floor.
I see the bodies on the fields and farms
I see the children who should be at play
Would that they had only lived one…more…day.
I see the families broken, their eyes filled with despair,
I see the black man and woman burdened with the white man’s “care”.

I see this, all this, through the blindness of which you speak
I say, I see this and here I stand – I will NOT break.

My hope is my flag, tattered though it may be,
I will not let this fear, this hate, this despair
Tear my hope away from me.

So I say, you! You see this world and all its shattered things
And you see the world instead as it could be
If only, and only if, this world had you and me.
Shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand,
Our voices united in our cry, our demand:

“We see this and, lo! Here we stand!
No more death, no more war,
No more hate on those far shores!
We are the broken, the brown, the red
The Christian, Jewish, Muslim, woman and man!
We are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,
This and all those who came before!
And to this, this hate, this division that you speak,
We stand united – we will not break.”

This is no new hope, this dream of unity,
But still – it is the flag to which I cling.
For I will not give it up, nor surrender my belief
That all are worthy and all will – one day – be free.


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