“Forgiveness, can you imagine?”

Thinking that her hometown public radio
would pull together North Carolina woodstoves to upstate coffee cups,
she did not consider the possibility of live streaming hypocrisy
through the space between cool blue computer screen light and scented candles on the coffee table:

A: If a Muslim woman wants to come to America, she needs to leave her towel at home.
B: But what about the freedom to worship? Religious freedom being a part of the genetic make-up of this country?
A: …Well, I believe that is something that’s come with political correctness and all that garbage.

Forgive me.

It is entirely possible that all my years
away from textbooks
could have altered my knowledge base,

but I could have sworn I learned of
the date actually still emboldened in my memory
from book-ending American music history facts;

of Puritanical compacts—
their ideals written so far into stone
it broke frozen earth and withstood;

of the people who made homes of mountainsides,
simply because they felt like the home,
thousands of miles away—

(though between misty mornings
and hearth fires,
sheer resolve and
mountain showers,
Carolina can dress as Caledonia.)

Forgive me.
For it is entirely possible that without discrimination,
she may not have found her own way to the mountains.

Forgive me.
For I have never breathed more free than mountain air,
a felicity I wish to share.

Forgive me.
For I am a child of those same creatures of frozen resolve,
building homes out of the unknown.

& I will stand with a desire for change,
& I will remember from whence I came,

For “Give me
your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free.”


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