To Proud Boys
Your flag is the color of sun-stained backs
drenched in the blood of their brothers,
drowned by the stifling stench of cotton residue,
drizzled in gashes ruptured by men
who looked so much like you.
Your stars were once stitched
from bruised fingers in bare attics,
every thread tamed into fabric
you hoist into a screaming sky.
Perhaps you won’t hear me
over the whistle of pepper spray,
I would walk across
this injured American earth
that belongs to its wounds,
And whisper in your ears:
the brown man cries not of the burden on his back,
but because the white man thinks so deeply
of his own.
this earth between us,
ablaze in nervous laughter,
laughter at the sightless pride
of a boy.
By Kanchan Naik
This poem is the recipient of a Scholastic Gold National Key.
Kanchan Naik is a junior at The Quarry Lane School in Dublin and the Teen Poet Laureate for the City of Pleasanton. When she’s not doodling or writing poetry, she is most likely untangling her earphones or looking for something that happens to be — much like herself — lost.