Pride and Shame

Nancy R. Nangeroni


Every day I look at the world all around,

and I think of the craziness that got us here.

The slavery and genocide, overdevelopment and pesticide,

War and torture and amassing of fortune

Exploitation, segregation, humiliation, degradation

A vast broken machine beyond our control

I’d have to be crazy to stand in its’ way

And yet somehow each day, something moves me inside

A spark catches somewhere and pretty soon I’m on fire

With the burning inspiration that change is at hand

As Martin Luther King, and Joan of Arc would tell you

There’s no power on earth that can beat inspiration

Not when it’s backed by perspiration

Who says this movement’s not for me,

I don’t care if they’ve got polls that agree.

Spare me your rich organization’s decree

That you’ve added to your name my identity.

This movement was born not by vote of someone,

But by a dream taking root and bravery done

Our own inspiration ignites our belief

That from our suffering there can be relief

Change will come, we’ve no choice but to act

What looks like courage is just the cold hard fact

That when the bottom is reached we have no more choices

The only way is up, and raising our voices

Is just the first step towards ending the pain

On the street, at work and in bed it’s the same

This is our land too, and if there must be shame

Lay it on those who would douse freedom’s flame