Those First Americans

Had they any sense of history,
those first Americans—
they who had stopped thinking
of themselves as Virginians or New
Englanders, but of something new,
a new creation—they would not have ignored
the limits of history, lessons that taught
how foolhardy, bordering on stupidity
it would be to rebel and challenge
the world’s mightiest empire
putting into jeopardy their lives,
the welfare of their families,
their farms and businesses,
not listening to the conservative
compromisers in their midst,
the historians with wise words
of caution, but —
they had no sense of history
 and gambled everything —
happiness, welfare, life itself
on the belief that they
could build something
new and better.

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Copyright 2017© by Peter D. Goodwin