born an american at nautilus teachings


i was born an American
54 years ago…
all around me
lived people
with different
colors of skin.
my best
friend was catholic
i was methodist-
it did not make
her any different
from me
all i knew
was she made me laugh…
i never knew
anything about
what my folks
political affiliation was
what type of car they drove
house we lived in
or food we ate,
when i was young
i was just free…
we hung the flag out
nearly every day
went to church on sunday
which was usually
followed with
big family meals
we ran wild in the summer
walked most places
never had
an air conditioner
and every weekend
we pulled weeds,
shoveled snow
mowed the grass
put on the storm windows
or screens
rode our bikes everywhere
watched very little
if any television
and our phone cord was long
and stretched out…
i had many friends
one had
what they now call
who could hardly hear
i had one with only
one rib cage
i had a friend with dark skin
yellow skin
and many other friends
who kinda
looked like me…
but to me,
we were the same-
we were all

we lived in the home of the free
and the land of the brave
eating our homemade apple pies
playing baseball and football
cutting down our christmas trees,
it was a time
when family
meant everything…
my first encounter
with a gay person
was high school…
oh how i loved her.
she was fabulously funny
a great dresser
super kind
a christian
and just an awesome person…
we were all just
a melting pot
of Americans…
i don’t remember ever
hearing of someone being murdered
and the word hatred
to me never existed
i did not grow up
hearing words
like dumb, stupid, idiot, shut up
in public ever…
my parents
were kind, loving
and took care of us all…
we ate day old bread
hotdogs and hamburgers
our mom stayed home
and baked every day
while taking care of us
and the house,
volunteered everywhere
and in her spare time
she ironed everything,
knit socks, scarves, sweaters
drank coffee and smoked cigarettes…
for a special treat we
were able to run down to the corner store
and by penny candy
or better yet get a malted
from seller’s drug store…
live was good and
we were Americans…

i know i am in my 50’s
and times have drastically changed
but i give this truth to you-
i don’t care about the color
of your skin
i don’t care what sexual orientation
your are
what religion-if any you choose
i don’t care which political party
you choose
or what titles you hold
what i want to know is
do you love your family?
are you living truthfully,
doing what you want?
do you rise up each day
filled with gratitude
and thanks for just
being alive?
do you
committed to our country,
if so then i have a few more questions…
what can you do to change
the part of the world
you live in?
how can you bring peace
to your slice of life?
are you truly thankful
for all you have,
or are you working so hard
because you
“have to have more?”
i suggest we examine
just how committed we are
to changing this world
one person at a time
breathing in calm
slowing down
as much as we possibly can
working less
needing less
accumulating less
what is it you have to give?
a listening ear
a hand to hold?

it is different for all of us
and i myself
know and am thankful for
how blessed i am…
but i also know
that in an instant
my life can change
and for that
i stand up
stand proud
of the American i am,
no matter who is elected
what church you go too
what color your skin is
who you have sex with
what you eat
where your kids go to school
what you drive
how much money you have
what matters to me
is do you support
our free America?
are you willing to step
out of your box
and help without being asked?
would you defend your country
if they needed you to?
do you wake up
each day
proud to be an American,
or are you just a slave
to life?
this is your country
take it back
join in unity
in support of
leave the judgment behind.
fly your flag,
say the Pledge of Allegiance,
sing God Bless America
and remember
we are a great country-