Some people say they aren’t proud of our country.
And I’m puzzled by that.
But when I think of being proud of my country, I think past the policies, and presidents, and parties, and politics,
I think of the people.
The people who sacrifice everything to protect us.
The people who are willing to die so we can be free.
I think of my great-grandfather.
World War 2,
He was missing in action, even declared dead.
But suddenly, he appeared.
I can’t imagine what horrors he endured,
But he never let them show.
He was strong, and kind, and patient,
You never would have guessed he was once dead.
I think of my uncle.
Several tours in the Middle East left him
Broken, with battles in his brain,
Reminders of the brothers and sisters he lost
On the battlefield.
He’s better now, but he still remembers the pain, the loss, the
I think of my father.
I think of the 22 years, and counting, he has spent serving this country.
22 years so We the People can express opinions, practice religion, petition, free press,
Yes, his job is not easy.
But someone has to do it.
I think of my mother.
She never enlisted, but she served her time.
Raising 3 kids while her husband fights for her right to be free is no easy feat.
She always maintains a happy face, even when everything falls apart.
I think of me.
I don’t mean to sound conceited, but my entire life has been at the mercy of the military.
Sometimes people try to relate.
“Oh yeah, I know what being military is like’, they say, “I’ve moved. My dad has to go on business trips sometimes.”
You will never know what it’s like.
You will never know what it’s like to uproot your entire life and restart,
Leaving everyone you’ve loved to try again, someplace new.
And not just once, but all the time.
And you will NEVER know what it’s like, having your father ripped from your arms and
Thrown to some war-torn country far, far away to fight for a cause you don’t understand,
Not knowing when he’ll return, not knowing IF he’ll return, not knowing what he has to do just to survive,
Just to see your face one more time.
And there is nothing you can do but sit and wait, feeling helpless and worthless.
Despite the hardships, I am still proud.
I am proud of everyone who has given their lives for our country.
Although my impact may be small, I am proud to make my own sacrifices for my country,
Because I am proud to be an American.
Pride is a poem I wrote in late 2019. I had just watched a cool performance of original spoken word poetry, and I was inspired to write my own. I never considered myself a poet. I had written a bit of poetry before, but this was my first attempt outside of school. I had a lot of pent-up emotions that needed to be expressed, and it surprised me how easily the words flowed onto the page. Since I finished Pride, I've written a few more poems. Pride taught me to love writing poetry, and I'm really grateful for that.