American Grace

Remember those who grew this food
Who picked and packed
Who shipped and sold.
Bronze rainbow arms
Have set this food upon our table.

Remember those who built this house
Assembled, weaved, created
Light and warmth and health.

Remember those who fought and died
To break the king’s command, the slaver’s yoke
And slay the Nazi beast.

Remember those who walked in darkness
Eyes on the gourd and the Trail of Tears,
Marching in Selma, martyred in Memphis

They can’t kill the dream, Jesús y Maria,
Che on his cross in the Andean highlands
Shot in the stadium, pushed from the airplane
Martyrs for freedom
And America.

Never forget
Our ancient foe
His craft and power,
His cruel hate
His endless thirst
Through blood and oil
For profit, profit
Uber alles.

Remember those whose songs of love
Restore us still
Pablo, Diego, Woody and Giant Paul
Mus’ keep on fightin’, Comrades all

Remember those who grew this food
Who mined and forged
Who sang and loved
Who fought and died
Who made all wealth
All honor and glory,
All power and peace
Be unto you
Be unto you.

Photo: El Vendador de Alcatraces by Diego Rivera (kamikazecactus/CC)

This poem/prayer was originally published in People’s Weekly World in March 2006.


Rick Nagin
Rick Nagin

Rick Nagin has written for the People's World and its predecessors since 1970. He has been active for many years in Cleveland politics and the labor movement.

Rick is the Ohio District Organizer of the Communist Party USA, member of The Newspaper Guild Local 34071 CWA, and delegate to the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, serving on its Political Coordinators and Racial Justice Committees. He is co-convenor of the Tamir Rice Justice Committee and is currently a Neighborhood Team Leader in the Ward 14 Hillary Clinton campaign.