I pledge allegiance…

by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Oh say can you see by the dawns early light,
the dew left as gift upon the spider’s glistening web?

And at twilight’s last gleaming,
care not for stars and stripes,
but walk slowly waiting for the racoon to rise from slumber
and the great horned owl to begin his search.

Pledge not your allegiance to the flag,
but lie down in the grass and
whisper your unwavering allegiance
to the grasshopper and morel
who share the same rainfall
and will one day be mixed in
with the soil of our bodies
offering land to rest upon for future generations
of maples and earwigs and children.

Where is the liberty and justice
for the imprisoned?
for those sleeping below underpasses?
for those wandering heat waves and wading through floods?
for those living in the bombed out rubble?
for the vanishing insects and songbirds?

Rejoice not for bombs bursting in air
but instead for each dandelion seed as it takes flight
promising another generation in this place.

May the proof and pride through the night
be known not by fabric blowing in the wind,
but by communities being whole and loved.

I do not want a land where only some are free
and the home of the brave in synonymous with guns.
I want a land that is free to herself,
that is not owned or controlled,
but who is our elder
reminding us how to live.
And I want bravery to be about
vulnerability, community,
and courage to step into this future.

We are not one nation under God.
God obeys no borders, walls, or citizenship papers.
But God does dwell in us and in history.
God weeps in the rain and rages with the wind.
God breathes in our pollution and tends to our dying bodies.
God burns flags and waits and waits and waits
for our allegiance to shift from mammon and nation,
toward the spirit that breathes and moves
in all of creation.

Amen.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann is the co-curator of RadicalDiscipleship and the editor of Geez magazine. She recently published The Sandbox Revolution: Raising Kids for a Just World. She lives in Detroit, MI.

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