How did it happen that we drifted apart

In so many cases no room for a start

We live in a world closed off to so much

Where neighbors and friends are kept out of touch

What you believe, what I believe limits what, who, when, and where

Think about common ground – how would we dare

The house next door seems miles away

The people inside think different than us

We wave and we nod, but fail to say

Let’s stay in touch and connected each day

We come from different roots

Our religion, color, or politics define who we are

Forget our neighbors forget their kind

Keep them at arms distance keep them behind

What once defined America

What once made us great

What kept the world in awe of the American Dream

Was so much less than what it might seem

A place of freedon where people were equal

Where opportunity abounds

And everyone started on common ground

Freedom of speech – to speak the truth

The privilege to vote to choose those to represent

The right to assemble, a chance to peaceably vent

We allowed it to happen

To change the intent

To disregard right and wrong

To forget what it was like to get along

Fear, lies, and incitement to act

In ways that drew us even further from fact

We turned our backs and said it wasn’t so bad

We laughed and we jeered at those who denied the truth

Until it was too late to turn things back

We stand now in disbelief and wonder for sure

And know that we are so far away from a cure

Our focus now is fighting for our life

Our time is spent dealing with extraordinary effects

The cause is far from our thoughts

Too many crises to spend time with that strife

Fight what’s before us, all effort is there –let’s do it – NOW

Pandemic, economic, a crumbing infrastructure, and political vow

This is where we invest our time and effort

This is now the focus that we allow

Isolation is hard, but not as hard as one might think

After all we have become so distant over the years

That we adjust in a blink

The real issue, what keeps us at bay

Is the sense of isolation that keeps us away

From shaking hands, listening, and giving people space

From allowing others to be who they are

Not who we want them to be

To separate facts from lies, to tell the truth

To trust one another to take the time to truly just see

Gone are the days when people did not fear

Trusting their neighbors and keeping them near

To help one another is a just cause

To deny each other’s rights should give us pause

Greatness does not come from denying what our forefathers built

To step on the home of the republic

Is never a sign of being a patriot

To threaten those who were duly elected

Is never a sign of being so true

To incite is never a right

To support those who do from which a great divide so grew

When we salute the flag under the pretense of loyalty

And treat those who deny its true meaning as royalty

Then how do we bring together

Those who seek right from wrong

Those who held on to truth all along

When people can’t distinguish good from evil

Then how do we ever mend

Where will we find the help to lend

Is this the America of Washington and Lincoln

A place where people unite to find a way

To recognize each other

To relish the day

When you and I find a common thread

Where the word of freedom and goodness

Is once again spread

This was America once

Is this America today

Who will bring us together

Who can show us the way

It’s up to us

Up to you and me

To make America the place

That once all could see

As a glimmer of light

A place to hold up high

A place where all

Could rise up and be free

God bless America the great democracy

To aspire to be

A land of opportunity

A land made for you and me

– Paul Sorgule

February 2021

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About Me

PAUL SORGULE is a seasoned chef, culinary educator, established author, and industry consultant. These are his stories of cooks, chefs, and the environment of the professional kitchen.


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