Sunday, February 1, 2009

I HAVE DIED IN VIETNAM

I HAVE DIED IN VIETNAM

But I have walked in the face of the moon

I have befouled the waters and tainted the air of a magnificent land

But I have made it safe from the disease

I have flown through the sky faster than the sun

But I had idled in the streets made ugly with traffic

I have littered the land with garbage

But I have built upon it hundred million homes

I have divided schools with my prejudice

But I have sent armies to unite them

I have beat down my enemies with clubs

But I have built courthouses to keep them free

I have built a bomb to destroy the world

but I have used it to light a light

I have outraged my brothers in alleys and ghettos

But I have transplanted a human heart.

I have scribbled out filth and pornography

But I have elevated the philosophy of man

I have watched children starve from my golden towers.

But I have fed half the earth

I was raised in a grotesque slum

But I am surfeited by the silver spoon of opulence.

I live in the greatest country in the world in the greatest time in history

But I scorn the ground I stand upon.

I am ashamed

But I am proud

I am an American.

(Published sometime in 1976 in Time Magazine with 25,000 requests for reprint)

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