The Last Imperfect Day

The Last Imperfect Day

Once upon a time in America
there was a last imperfect day.
A last day when not only the churches,
but the temples and the mosques
stood calling people to prayer;
a day when it was legal to be a non-believer.

There was a last imperfect day when
children of every color and creed went to school;
A day when people could speak their mind
without fear of neighbors turning them in;
A day when people could speak Spanish
without being beaten in the street.
A day when women owned their own bodies;
A day when you were innocent until proven guilty;
A day when there was no list of undesirables;
A day when the disabled were not put to death.

On that day, as it was in all the days before,
Life was hard, and messy, and difficult,
and full of compromise and hard lessons,
and it was far from perfect.
It was full of failure and starting over and trying again,
but it was real and there was enough hope to
wake up each morning and give community
and respect and dignity and inclusion another shot.
In very many ways, it most certainly was not great.
There was, once upon a time, not too long ago
A last imperfect day like this.
And then
America became great again.