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Poem: Awaking from an American Dream

October 9, 2013

Awaking from an American Dream

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

I dozed and dreamed, and dreamed and dozed.

In my dream, I saw barricades, wires, memorials–closed.

In the foggy mist, along the Potomac,

the monumental Lincoln stood, came momentarily back to life

to walk through his wavering Washington.

I dozed and dreamed, and dreamed some more.

Then, I saw the monumental man

with modern barricades in each hand.

He walked and walked along those famous streets;

he paused a while at the World War II Memorial,

shook his head, and shed a tear.

Then, the gaunt figure gallantly walked on:

he had more places to go, someone to meet.

I dreamed and dozed, and dreamed some more.

There were tears on my pillow. Had they been there before?

Next, I saw President Lincoln join with another monumental man.

Moving away a barricade, President Lincoln shook the hand

of Doctor Martin Luther King.

His statue, too, had come to life.

Together, they picked up more barricades

and tossed the wires away.

I dreamed and dozed, and dreamed once more.

This time, in my dream,

I saw a funeral cortege.

In my view came not just one casket, but two.

In the procession, President Lincoln and Doctor King walked slowly by.

Somehow, I managed to ask—

I don’t know how, I don’t know why:

“Who are in those coffins?”.

President Lincoln nodded and said,

“In the first casket is Common Sense.”

Then, Doctor King added,

“In the second coffin rests Hope.”

At last, I awakened from my American dream

to hear from Mount Rushmore a mighty roar:

“Old Faithful still gushes, but no one can see…”

I sit up and awake to a Washington reality.

We have monumental reasons for needing change.

A little child stands by a closed gate and wonders,

“Is this what you are leaving me?”.

I ask, “Is this my America?

Is this the United States of America?”.

God bless the American dreamers who can discuss

and disseminate real and decent, positive portraits

of change—in a Land of No Barricades.

With gratitude to the Greatest Generation
who still touch our hearts, educate our souls, and strengthen our spirits–

Alice Massa

October 8, 2013, Tuesday night


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  1. Carole permalink

    Very interesting and thought-provoking, Alice; although I see the recent events as an American nightmare! Very, very sad . . .

  2. Paula permalink

    Wish this could be read aloud in a large public forum. What a wonderful expression of what so many of us are feeling–but done so beautifully, Alice. Loved it!

    • Paula–Thank you so much for your positive and encouraging comment. I have been trying to find a forum–other than my blog–for this poem; but as of this writing, I have had no luck. Happy Autumn–AJM

  3. Sue McKendry permalink

    This poem really hit home with me as we missed a few national parks as a result of the government shutdown. We were lucky we could see Yellowstone, Great Falls, and The Badlands. The words about Mt. Rushmore brought back memories of when we visited there several years ago and the words of the song “I’m Proud to be an American” kept echoing in my mind.

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