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.
(Written for the “Breathing Lights” project)