Culture Magazine

America’s Streets Are Not Paved With Gold

By Fsrcoin

imagesThis poem came to me during July 4 fireworks surrounded by thousands of fellow citizens of every hue and stripe gathered in joyful celebration of America – right after I heard a radio program about the long desperate struggle of a Somali refugee in Kenya to get a U.S. visa.*

They said America’s streets are paved with gold.
It wasn’t true; it was a lie.
And even if they had been paved with gold,
What good would that do anyone?


Walking on golden streets
Won’t make you rich.
It won’t rub off on you.
You couldn’t pick it up and spend it.
Couldn’t eat it.


Yet still they come,
Knowing that America’s streets
Are paved instead with good will;
Are paved with live and let live;
With energy, imagination, grit, and spunk.


America’s streets are paved
With positive attitudes;
By people who say
The difficult we do at once;
The impossible takes a little longer.


America’s streets are paved


By people who work at paving them
To make their own lives better
Through making life better
For other people,
Giving others roads to travel.


America’s streets are paved with mistakes
That we strive always to make right;
Streets where we take one step back,
And then go two steps forward.


America’s streets are paved
With Truth, Reason, Freedom, and Justice;
Streets that are full of potholes,
In this imperfect world


Of imperfect souls.
Yet these paths will take us far,
Paving the way for all the world,
Paving our way to the stars.

* His name is Abdi Iftin, and if you’d like to contribute toward his college education, here is a Paypal link.
And here’s a picture he sent me, of him in Maine:


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