We come from slate, rock shale mined by German hands upending earth,
ripping out hard mountain hearts leaving earth’s crust opened, wounded.
Between world wars our father’s fathers began building an American hearth,
for found wives, children, creating cities, engineering torrents of work grounded
in tradition. Decades streamed by, farms and front porches defined worth.
Our soil slipped away, separating families over oceans, driving the unfounded
history of shale locked in grey, our hands, our eyes, now lifting on the Fourth,
but dreaming home’s black forests, town squares, church steeples bounded
on all sides by time’s relentless tick. Immigration expands this country’s girth
and we are richer for it, though we build cement walls after sirens sounded
our ancestors’ arrivals. Brick by brick and wire, blade sharp, swirls across earth,
making our country a prison while new immigrants hopes are unaccounted.