There is a white two-story on Albany in Schenectady,

A white bungalow on 131st in Chicago,

And a white double flat on Hampstead in Cleveland.

All of these houses give shelter to  America.


“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I am the house where the Statue of Liberty comes to play poker.

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof.”

I am the house where the Liberty Bell gets its crack.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I am the house that declares independence.

“In God we trust.”

I am the house where God can take off his shoes.

“Oh say!  Does that star-spangled banner yet wave?”

I am the house where the flag stays a triangle forever.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up.”

I am the house where Dr. King no longer has to dream..

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

I am the house where this choice is unnecessary.

“Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”

I am the house full of answers.


I am the house of broken promises,

the house that is vacant,

the house that wonders

why homeless people

and peopleless homes

can’t find a life together.


Copyright 2016

(Written for the “Breathing Lights” project)

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