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Jan 15,2007
I Hear The Words
by Bill Dahl, Redmond, OR

I Hear The Words
By Bill Dahl

When I hear the words,
”Let Freedom ring!”
I recall the image,
Of Dr. Martin Luther King

I hear the words,
”Liberty and justice for all!”
Why are there exceptions,
That exclude me, and make me feel so small?

I hear the words,
”America. America. God shed His grace on thee.”
When will we “crown Thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea”?

I hear the words,
”No child left behind.”
Dad & mom can’t get real jobs or drive a car.
This phrase is really hollow and unkind.

I hear the words,
”My country ‘tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty.”
When will this to apply to me?

I hear the words,
”Children are the future of this nation.”
What about the millions of undocumented kids like me,
Excluded from full participation?

I hear the words,
At church, home and school.
”Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”
You said there are no exceptions to the Golden Rule.

I hear the words,
”One nation under God.”
Jesus loves the marginalized.
Perhaps man’s heart is flawed.

I hear the words,
In the United States Constitution.
To this country, I’ve made my resolution.
Now, I’d like to make, a lifelong contribution.

I’ve pledged allegiance to this nation,
Everyday in school.
Maybe Congress will focus on kids like me,
Revising laws that are unintentionally cruel.

I realize these phrases,
Were written in the past.
I have a dream, someday we can shout:
”Thank God Almighty! We are free at last!”

When people talk about civil rights,
They always mention Dr. King.
They talk like it’s an era that’s behind us,
That’s the strangest thing.

Bow your heads with me America.
”God Bless America” is what we sing.
Let’s share the blessing of freedom within our borders,
For God’s sake, “Let Freedom Ring!”

This poem is dedicated to the children, teens, young adults and families my wife and I have had the privilege to live life with in Santa Ana, CA.

Bill Dahl, is a freelance writer and social justice advocate. Bill is published in numerous professional publications, magazines, websites, journals, newspapers and newsletters. Bill and his family make their home in central Oregon.

Contact Bill Dahl at:

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