mike koehler | i have traveled miles and heard songs

I have traveled miles and heard songs
along blacktop, gravel and concrete
and the words thrum through the ether.
You can join a revolution
without leaving you car.
Histories are being thrown at us.
I have driven through scrap yards
and Industrial Parks and slums
and I’ve watched the men standing on the corner
hands in their pockets, eying passers-by;
seen they were silent.
Seen, too, the refusal against failure,
the ” If Not Today, Tomorrow”
set to their shoulders.
In every place there was hope
however humble;
every gift holy,
forever thankful.
Back to back we have always stood,
stranger with stranger,
neighbor to neighbor,
and have raised the barn,
laid to peace our kin,
cheered on our football team
and answered the call to arms.
We have heard since youth
we were the greatest place on Earth.
We know, because it was our labor
and our vote that made it so.

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