The American dream was a sweeter snack than Oreos,
More satisfying than a steak dinner.
How full I felt on reveries of ascendance,
A descendant of our independence.
I’m older now.
No longer covered in cookie crumbs and innocence.
And classes away,
Poor kids feast like I did–
On dreams like candy bars.
On a name brand future to erase a Goodwill past.
They’ll grow up too,
But not like me.
Obstacles will slice their dreams just large enough to fill a jail cell.
Access will be a foreigner to their fingertips.
Uncle Sam is a fair-weather relative to the projects,
And a wealthy politician scolds them for not trying,
For not vying for the highest.
They are dodging bullets,
Raising babies while babies themselves,
But a pointed finger has no sympathy.
The American Dream is a craving too strong for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig to overpower,
Night after night,
Generation after generation gorges itself on too many fantasies and not enough resources when morning comes.
I ponder why my dawn is sunlight and roosters crowing
While theirs is sirens and food stamps.
And I have to wonder
Can we wake from the American dream?