Paradise Lost… And Restored

The fireworks will glare and burst in the air, and The Land of the Free and The Home Of The Brave will still be there.

I remembered when the fireworks came
Red, white, blue, all colours and aflame.
I recalled the memories I still save
Of a home where I am free and where I can be brave.

Recollecting office lines where I would wait
To check about my uncertain fate.
Would I make it to this land, so that I could see
Just how I would become the person I was meant to be?

I could not get that chance at my hometown.
This land was my golden ticket to a chance to be known,
To take the chances my elders were denied,
And be the one who would give my family pride

The uncertainty was over and I came to the new land.
Liberty, freedom and opportunity were so close at hand.
I had the chance to learn, to grow, and to be
A complete person, wholeheartedly and with liberty.

In time, the new land was where I decided to strike my roots.
I made an name and explored new routes
Of life, love, patriotism and creativity,
As a way of saying my thanks to this new country.

My new home, where colour, race and creed did not matter.
I was more than just a welfare or social security number.
Here I could work, love, live where I pleased,
I was part of a whole, and there was no doubt I helped fulfil a need.

Problems there were and are, but I knew that we were one.
Together, there was nothing that could not be won
Over by the innovation and industry of this collective whole.
So many people, all gathered together to achieve a common goal.

And that family spirit was so clear for all to see
As the world took notice of our youth, vitality and creativity.
Where others grew slow and stumbled with languor,
Our nation moved from strength to strength with renewed vigour.

But now, the liberty and grace has turned to fire and flame
As brother turns on brother and fingers are raised in blame,
Against enemies and phantoms, real and perceived.
And help for those in need was removed to support those with greed.

The land that once beaconed for truth, freedom and liberty,
Is being laughed at by its enemies.
Good men and women speak but are instead put to scorn.
Where we should rejoice, all we can do now is mourn.

But I still hope and know and dream that this reality will be,
That we will return to being the land of the free
And home of the brave, but first there must
Be a return to the public trust.

We have to act and dare to stand tall
Not to stand means that we will all fall.
We have to speak for not to speak
Will eventually condemn us all, the strong and the weak.

We need to reach out and give a hand
To know and understand our fellow man.
Refuse to give in to words or deeds of hate,
But reply instead with love and turn from good to great.

We must be the voices for those who have none.
All of us combined cannot but drown
The negative forces that only seek
To destroy the land, repress the weak and suppress the meek.

I know not when the dream will be reality.
But only with faith, perseverance and tenacity,
Will we be able to rewrite the story of the country we save,
And then we will return to the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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