Blessed be even this
Lucille Clifton

Even America First, though we weren’t
the first, pushing the tribes ever westward.
Even though this country was built
with the labor of slaves, their blood soaked
into the red clay South. Even a senate so mean
they’d deny health care to the poor, the aged,
the disabled, to give the rich more tax breaks.
Blessed be. We have so much: oceans of fish,
fields of corn, herds of cattle. Who says
it’s a pie, and if I get a slice, there’s none
for you? Blessed be these sweet days
in October, the earth alchemized to gold.
Blessed be the undocumented, who pick
the grapes and bathe the dying. Blessed be
the single mother, working two jobs.
Blessed be the rich, the powerful, the entitled.
Some day, their hearts will crack open,
and they will see there are no borders.
Meanwhile, in a shining meadow
of goldenrod and asters, the bees
are humming, little captains of industry,
following the lure of pollen and the hot buzz
of hunger, to seal in wax hexagonals
a bit of sweetness, their IRAs and savings
accounts for the long nights of zero to come.

~Barbara Crooker

poems online



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