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Waging Peace

Yonas Woldermichael: Welcome to America

Like you I believe that I am different

Only to realize that my story of escaping

Persecution, gunshots, and organized militia killings

Has been retold many times before

Bosnia, Somalia, Russia, and Sudan

The name of the country continues to change

But the story remains the same.


Like you I believed arriving in America

Was an end to my nightmare,

The blood splatter would begin to dissipate

I would close my eyes and get some shut eye for the night

Thinking that the American Dream had finally been achieved

Living the life of a rock star is all I ever wanted

Yet, America is nothing but a dream.

All these opportunities to better yourself      

In agreement with the fine print.


If I was a mapmaker, under the words,

“North America,” in tiny script I would mention,

“Side effects may include assimilation of American

Culture, loss of home-culture, racism, consumerism,

Credit card debt and a better life-style in jail.”


Like you, I am ignorant but unlike you I am caught

In never-ending cycles of examination and awareness

Thinking thoughts of wisdom, truth, and knowledge

Yet I speak as if I was a jaded cynic

Welcome to America.




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