All America is stuck in middle school, just like me, thanks to President Trump

An Argumative Essay by Matthew Kotcher

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://wsoe.org/all-america-is-stuck-in-middle-school-just-like-me-thanks-to-president-trump/&source=gmail&ust=1537144364340000&usg=AFQjCNGHTFm_3iMC791fhSfRTZeftBZJVg

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WE WEAVED A BOW TIE ACROSS THE STORM

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

the Aborigine sky
bright grey blue
Choctaw

a lurching of grasshoppers
deep in the weed
the shriek of crickets

didjeridu
bull-roarer
gum-leaf

peepers in the grass,
the large hand of a child
thick as brown dessert air

clapsticks
kora
karimba bali

First published in Outlaw Poetry:
https://outlawpoetry.com/2017/four-poems-by-michael-h-brownstein/

Senator McCain’s Final Thoughts

Final thoughts from John McCain

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe.

We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. The country will get through these challenging times.

Apples

A Poem by Korey J. Brownstein

There is an apple in his hand,
a juicy apple, red delicious, and crisp.
Every time she reaches for his hand,
she feels the skin of an apple
firm, ripe, and inviting.

He always offers her the apple
and she always accepts it, and then
she reaches for his hand,
and he has another apple
and she reaches for his hand

and finds another apple.
How do I hold your hand? she asks.
I do not know, he answers.
An apple on his tongue, an apple
on his head, an apple in his hand.

1945

A Short Story by DC Diamondopolous

I first saw Teresa out my kitchen window back in 1928. Her father, a widower, had moved into our neighborhood. I was kneading dough when I looked up and watched the child glide her sled down a snowbank and slam into a tree. I ran across the street. “Are you hurt?”

She scowled. “Mind your own beeswax.”

I ignored her sass and asked if she would like a nice piece of hot homemade bread. She rubbed her bump with a snow-crusted mitten and shook her head. Teresa repeated the stunt and sailed free all the way to the sidewalk. I clapped my doughy hands. The little one smiled. “Can my pop have one too?”

The next year the stock market crashed, and we plunged into the Depression.

I’d see Teresa walk home from school, alone, shoulders slumped, eyes downcast. We all wore threadbare clothes, but her charity hand-me-downs never fit her growing body.

One day, I invited her to see Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes. Coming out of the theatre, she reached for my hand, such sweetness in her grasp. From then on I became her cheerleader, my pompoms the crocheted scarves and sweaters I made for her.

From the end of the Depression to another War, changes occurred every minute—and right here, in Farmingdale, New York.

In the winter of ‘42, Teresa got a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I’d be at my window at six o’clock making dinner as she arrived home in a car full of girls. She ran with new found joy up the steps to the front door, turn, wave to her friends and then to me. Her smile brought riches not even Rockefeller could buy.

Teresa had every other Sunday off and we’d have lunch on my back porch. “Oh Aunt Lena, I never knew working with my hands could be so much fun. There’s a lot of us gals, cutting and soldering, doing everything the men did. But our paychecks are nothing compared to what they earned.”

“Well, of course not. Men have families to care for.” My comment hung in the air like a barrage balloon.

Why, I never questioned my pay working in the factory during the First World War. It would’ve been unpatriotic—but this, I kept to myself. Now we could vote. Women smoked. Teresa wore overalls at work—so much had changed.

On a spring day in ‘43, she told me about her promotion. “I work on submarines, welding.” She put down her fork.

“What’s wrong, dear?”

“They’re cramped quarters. My boss rubs up against me. When I told him to stop, he put me out in the rain to weld, knowing I’d get electrical shocks.”

“Can’t you go to his boss?”

She shook her head. “It’s always the girls’ fault.”

I worried that after the war, young women like Teresa, who built our ships, tanks and planes would question traditions. Men wouldn’t stand for it. If I went to work, Roy would raise Cain, though he did let me sell war bonds.

In ‘44, Teresa made management, and our lovely Sunday lunchtimes came to an end. Her new boss, a decent man, depended on her. She worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week and took care of her ailing father.

I helped out by sitting with Pop. One night when she returned late I expressed concern for her coming home alone in the dark.

She laughed. “With the boys gone, we girls can walk anywhere day or night and feel safe. Even Central Park.”

Her breezy comment gave me chills. I saw thunderclouds on the horizon. “You respect our boys who are fighting for our freedom, don’t you?”

“Oh Aunt Lena.” She put her arm around my shoulder. “Of course, I do. But women are fighting for freedom too. Just not on battlefields.”

The war in Europe ended May 8, 1945, but it dragged on in the Pacific.

Teresa’s final promotion came in early June. She oversaw seventy-five women in the construction department. I couldn’t have been prouder of her.

On August 15, the radio blared, “Official! Truman announces Japanese surrender.”

“Aunt Lena, Uncle Roy!”

We all had tears in our eyes as I opened the door.

“I’m going to Times Square, then on to the shipyard. Can you look in on Pop?”

“Of course, dear.” A car waited for her. The girls waved flags. I held up two fingers making a V for Victory. “Do tell me everything that happens.”

Roy and I went back to the radio. We heard about the thousands of people who turned out in cities across America. I imagined the red, white and blue rippling and waving, confetti and ribbons, wet eyes and cheering—if only our beloved FDR had lived to see it.

That night we grew anxious as the hours passed and no word from Teresa.

The next morning I recall burning myself on the skillet. My mind filled with worry about our girl. Then from my kitchen window I saw her come out the front door. She wore slacks and a blouse and marched down the walkway to the car. Rigid—with dark smudges beneath her eyes.

I ran across the street. “What’s the matter?”

“We wouldn’t quit, so they fired us.”

A girl in the car said, “With the boys coming home, we got canned.”

“Of course. They’ll need their jobs back.”

Teresa glared at me. “My boss told me to get married and have babies.”

“What did you expect?”

Teresa opened the car door. “I expected more from my country.”

Back then I didn’t understand the full impact of the war and what its aftermath meant to our daughters.

Now with Roy gone and Teresa out west, I think about those days and the car full of girls who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I know now as I watched them drive off to gather and speak up for their rights that what I saw was the future.

Turn The Page

Song lyrics by Bob Seger

On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha
You can listen to the engine moanin’ out its one-note song
You can think about the woman, or the girl you knew the night before

But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do
When you’re riding sixteen hours and there’s nothing much to do
And you don’t feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through

Say, here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing the star again
There I go, turn the page

Well, you walk into a restaurant, strung-out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you as you’re shaking off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you but you just want to explode

Most times you can’t hear ’em talk, other times you can
All the same old clichés: “Is that a woman or a man?”
And you always seem outnumbered, you don’t dare make a stand

Here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing the star again
There I go, turn the page

Out there in the spotlight you’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy you try to give away
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play

Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed
With the echoes from the amplifiers ringin’ in your head
You smoke the day’s last cigarette, remembering what she said

Ah Here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing the star again
There I go, turn the page

Ah, here I am, on a road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playing the star again
There I go, there I go.