As a child I thrilled
To the railroad trains
Riding out of the badlands
Not knowing they were owned
By robber barons

I watched the Calvary charge the
Indian villages like Attila the Hun
Believing Custer a hero and
Sitting Bull a savage

Not taught in school about the
Deadly smallpox plague
Diseased blankets traded Indians
For title to their land
A secret plot to murder
An entire nation

Generations of ripped-off cultures
Gather in the museum of history
Dolphins die in tuna fishermen’s nets
While pelican eggs refuse to hatch
Victim of man’s greed and waste
As the blistered hands
Of faceless migrant workers
Reach out for a token of respect
Only to find death in pesticide laded food
The tools of revolution laid aside
Rusting from affluence and false security

The dreams of thousands upon thousands
Of brave warriors lay buried
In unmarked graves
No historical monument
Will make mention of them
Their children buried in graves so small
Their parents wear them in their hearts
Like an anchor weighed
To the tip of their tongue


2 Responses to “GROWING UP IN AMERICA by A.D. Winans”

  1. What’s to be written? The stories we learn while growing up will be unique for each of us (and yet far from it) … two of my grandchildren (who are still not teenagers although one soon will be) both said they would have voted for the president-elect … where is this coming from? I wonder …

    I especially liked the first stanza of this one … DaP

  2. priscampbell Says:

    Good one, Al!

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