Michael Finch | A Poem: ‘Whence America?’

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Heading northbound on the 170 Freeway, trash heaps and waste fall down and pile high on the embankment, tents and filth, human costs and destroyed lives, of illness, drugs and wasted dreams. 

This is America? 

Shattered might and factories hollow, rust belt and shredded lawns, boarded-up stores, empty lots and broken glass and spent lives and churches barren, of jobs sold off and towns crushed and forgotten. 

This is greatness? 

Global riches and coastal castles of wealth unseen since Rome’s finest of palaces, high upon hills of gold and towers gleaming over the bay and harbors to the ends of Earth, those eyes, hearts and souls gaze over the horizon with loyalties sailed off to faraway lands. 

The revolt of elites.

Spent lives, overdosed and buried in misery and ruin, long forgotten and none forgiven, a heartland once the citadel of power and might, the fortress, the big shoulders of the power of Atlas, of our might unchallenged, the arsenal of democracy, now discarded and shipped to a middle kingdom afar, new empires of fortunes, enriching few, and for whose bidding? 

This is America? 

Coming back to a downtown of refuse, filth and thousands of hopeless lives, wasted and allowed, condoned from our elites and betters, of drugs and crime and to wallow in misery, America once, but America no more, cry our beloved land of God’s fading blessings. 

This is a fallen greatness.

Michael Finch


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