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America Is

America is a contradiction.

Arrogance + ignorance

like those who once thought

the sun revolved around the earth.

A meddling klutz who means well,

but falls in the pool just dipping its toes in.

A moody teenager pushing

away the adults,

but still asking for dinner.

A pep squad: shouting, shouting, shouting

tossing each other in the air,

smiling through a pulled muscle.

America is the gusting wind

fraying its own flag.

A dog snapping and barking to be loved.

The shock of a cold lake full of bright fish

after a hot tub of rippling anger.

Apathy catcalls empathy.

An illness chokes America,

rectangular like money.

Always open to the prospect

of development,

merchandise everlasting

absolved of accountability.

An illness chokes America,

rectangular like money.

Always open to the prospect

of development,

merchandise everlasting

absolved of accountability.

America is a mirage,

ephemeral as a cloud floating away

blocking the sun even as it evaporates.

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Faculty or Staff Sponsor: Barb Clauer

Author: Poems Barb Clauer wrote from community-generated responses from Fall 2017 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry students