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American Tragedy

by Michele Schottelkorb

something smells of treason here


in our vast and tiny universe

hatred breeds contempt

                       (bleeds the innocent)


blame your truths on one man

could be a million more

no responsibility

            for defending our back door


loyalty is scarce in these parts

on the soil when humans died

your freedom seized for granted

what troubles you inside?

look to purple mountains

and each shining sea

embrace your heritage

be your clan here one generation or three


fight the good fight

for isn’t it all relative?

choose your blasphemous words wisely,

my friend

occupation is selective


if you hate your country

as so many swear they do

then please, take that one-way trip elsewhere

America doesn’t need you


i tire of all these traitors

elitists who benefit from that which they loathe

give our country back to those who love her

i beg you, disdainful turncoat, please

                                                                                                    go away…


an American Tragedy i speak of

tarnished red, white and blue

by vicious rancid tongues and liberal ignorance

soiled sacred land of the free


my heart weeps for those who gave their lives

so those who do not care

have the right, choice and freedom

to annihilate that which they expropriate from…


hear my plea to look deeper and remember why we are here

on this blessed day in our history

recalling what was meant to be

and seeing all we were meant to see

sow a thought and grow a tree

be grateful that your mind, body and soul are free…


and maybe, my American Tragedy will end in bliss

fly your flag, give your neighbor a kiss

and spread a tiny beseeching wish

each human soul dance in a human tryst



                                         hatred vanquished,

                                         love in the midst…


Author's Note: the erractic rhyming of the poem is on purpose...

Posted on 07/04/2004
Copyright © 2020 Michele Schottelkorb

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Amy Wustrin on 07/04/04 at 09:10 PM

On my favorites list, definitely!

Posted by Dana E Brossard on 07/06/04 at 07:16 PM

Very well done =)

Posted by Lori Johnson on 07/08/04 at 09:15 PM

I am SO laughing right now b/c I caught the erratic rhyming pattern & was loving it, planning to comment on how it added so much to the piece, then saw it in your authors note!
At any rate, the rhyme scheme gives a feel of confusion, which adds so much character to the piece b/c it IS confusing how people can be so against a place in which they reside. I've given up trying to understand why so much complaining, yet nobody gets their butt off the couch & does something about it!!! *ugh*
Excellent poem, riled up lots of emotions (as you can tell). :)

Posted by Laura Doom on 07/13/04 at 10:02 PM

Perhaps it's nationalism that constitutes the problem - ie not an issue confined to one particular state (or States). Lines, when drawn as boundaries, may embrace those within, but they can also alienate those 'without'?

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 03/19/09 at 01:40 PM

Timely write. I wish more people think the way you do- it would be a better place to live!

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 09/22/16 at 02:44 PM

Congratulations, Michele, on POTD. This ode is simply marvelous and soul driven.

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