"…did you see all those yuppies jumping from the buildings?" 
a well-dressed English woman at Lancaster Gate, London England.
"Americans will never be free" 
Margaret, an attorney from Newcastle, England.


Forgive Me (to the Brits)


Forgive me for being an American,
I hope I'm not offending you
with the flag pinned upon my chest,
you see,
it's a gift from young Latoya, who's small hand I held
beneath the toxic, electrical sunrise of September 12th
as the hopes for her lost Aunt faded
with each empty gurney the helicopters brought in

Forgive me for choking on words,
I hope I'm not clouding your tea
with the asbestos of my speech
you see,
there's something called "grief"
that hides in every man's heart,
and smolders beneath the
fragile, collapsed floors of his soul
Forgive me for missing your demon-
stration, I'm busy attending bodiless funerals
of heroes and neighbors,
you see,
while your children fill the streets
with bull-horn, pointed blame
I fill sterile, plastic bags
with the blood of my pulsing veins
Forgive me for praying to God,
your cloudy, agnostic skies
offer no comfort to my tired, hungry soul,
you see
there's something called "faith"
that lifts the injured masses
from the depths of yesterday's sadness
giving us the strength to face another day

Forgive me father Britain,
for understanding the difference
between "Great" and "United",
you see,
there are those who hate America
not for our freedom and brevity
but for the ugliness that we
unfortunately inherited from you

copyright 2001, Frank Messina

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