What is my country?

What is my country?

Is it these clumps of soil strewn together

On the Pacific ocean?  Mounds of volcanic ash

Rocks with no meaning.

Countries are in the hearts

Of men (or women, for that matter);

Not in lines  drawn on maps

By powerful men (said Michael O).

And this is what I believe:

My country is in my heart,

All the imperfect parts of it –

The slavery of the past

And present

And the whisper of a future.

The shadows and the rain.

The hands with grime,

Swollen bellies, forgotten uteruses

Littering streets paved with gold.

My country is that sound tapping against

My car window as we speed

Through a traffic light.