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America 2005

I wanted to write a poem about
How the rest of the west views America,
But then I saw a flamingo flying across the bayou
On the Creole Nature Trail
And I know I was only twenty miles from Port Arthur
Which has the highest cancer rate in the developed world
But I’d never seen a flamingo flying before
And everywhere I go they treat me like a long lost son
Or a prodigal grandfather
And how can I be mad at a family
That throws its arms around me as I come through the door
And plies me with food and laughter.
But I do want to write the poem
Because I know
When I go home
I’ll be looking from another angle
And I’ll be saying stuff I could regret later
Because the language in a family argument knows no bounds
And as every mother knows
It will only end in tears.