United States of America

Hear my hope though the speakers like a monster

Message to Readers

How do the two voices flow? What makes them similar/different? Thank you!

How Do Stereotypes End? (A Poem for Two Voices)

September 4, 2018

PROMPT: One Home

How do stereotypes begin?
A cycle of hatred in
perpetual motion.
Don’t they realize
how far we’ve traveled under turbulent skies
as the wind tossed us back and forth
as we struggled south or north
the soles of our feet bleeding bare on the street…
how do stereotypes begin?

The fact is, you have to see
most immigrants are here illegally.
They’re breaking the law and I’ve no sympathy
for someone who’s a criminal;
that’s not how we do things in this country.

You aren’t seeing the truth
you’re only looking at the outliers.
You aren’t seeing the truth
but you call us all liars.
Only 25.5 percent represent
those of us who are undocumented
and I guess
in the midst of this mess
that those 25.5 percent
are the only ones that matter
to you.

Oh, stop your complaining
moaning about your pain;
it’s easy to get here (and legally, too!)
My ancestors came here without a hitch
and now look at me;
I ended up rich.

If it’s that easy, why don’t you try it?
I promise, it’s harder than you think.
For our country’s first century,
we allowed anyone in and anyone out
America! the great open door.
But now, the law has tightened, and with an iron grip,
demands who stays and who goes.
It’s likely your ancestors
who entered the States
in those first one-hundred years
would not be here if they’d tried to be here today.
For most of those who passed through that “open door”
would, in this day and age, have failed to stay.

Yes, but if you’re going to be here
at least learn our language.
The words that we speak must live on your tongue
otherwise, how will you get by?
Why do you cling to the world you left behind?

I may speak my own tongue at home
in the safety of my private residence
but in order to pass the naturalization test
yes, I did have to learn English.
Most of us long to learn the language
most of us long to fit in,
and most of us do, in fact, know your language-
(which isn’t your language at all; it’s Britain’s.)

Okay, I suppose
that you’ve proved from your prose
that English isn’t the reason I should oppose
the immigrants who now in America make their home.
But what about jobs? What about our unemployed?
How could you take work from someone who was here first?

Listen! Open your ears.
First of all who do you think was first here?
It wasn’t you, I’m certain, but besides that!
We don’t grab your jobs at the tip of a hat.
The jobs we take are, for the most part, the jobs no one wants
the jobs that you turned down because they didn’t pay enough.
Undocumented immigrants are only five percent of the U.S. workforce
that’s hardly enough to cause much unemployment,
isn’t it?
Every day in the workplace we are exploited and abused
we are beaten, bruised, and used
because we bore the brunt of your burden
and we took the jobs that nobody wanted.
There are so many myths
we need to shatter
so many stereotypes
that need to die before we die with them
so know we’re God’s people too
we’re God’s children just like you.

That’s true…
I never once thought to see
that you were a child of God, same as me
and that he doesn’t love you any less
just because of the country where you happened to be born
God’s love has no borders and has no walls
So mine should too.
Thank you.

How do stereotypes end?
A cycle of love in
perpetual motion
as we engage in merciful conversations.
We can help them realize
how far we’ve traveled under turbulent skies
as the wind tossed us back and forth
as we struggled south or north
the soles of our feet bleeding bare on the street…
This is how stereotypes can end.



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  • September 4, 2018 - 8:26am (Now Viewing)

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