BANNER
koi sidebar
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

line


Bill Waters
Pennington, New Jersey, USA


Discovering America

In the adult world, feelings of patriotism can be complex but in kindergarten half a century ago such feelings were simple and spontaneous. One day, as the teacher led the class in singing “America,” it occurred to me like a revelation that the United States was my country, too—that even though I was little, I had a personal right to be here and that no one, not even a bully, could take that away from me. I felt a swelling in my chest—I literally puffed up with pride—as I sang along, my voice growing stronger with each note.

In a slightly embarrassing postscript to my epiphany, the teacher asked me to not sing so loudly in the future. She didn’t perceive that I had just undergone a subtle life-changing experience—that I had made my first discovery of what it means, in part, to be a citizen.

rattle of muskets
and peals of victory
echoing in my ears

line

end

| contents page | next haibun |

koi sidebar r
koi sidebar r
contents