Praise the red, blue and white
Scattered in the air with dust from the twins.
Remember the stars out even when light was in the air,
still glowing when light dropped into darkness.
The astronomical awe of golden, crown-yellow stars
with all their mystery still can't compete with our white stars, our stars
in the corner of our eyes glistening with tears.
Praise this flag out on our wood porch
giving company to the old, chipped-paint rocking chair in the corner.
Praise this flag,
symbol of everything we are
symbol of everything we are not.
Praise the 50 states bedded in blue, the blue
like an ocean we tiptoe into, feeling the cold on our feet.
Praise the 13 colonies with their perfect lined stripes
Remember our streets.
We weren't immune to this spreading disease called pride.
There we were,
So silent but loud inside with our hearts pounding
to the rhythm of our nation's anthem,
a nation again.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.