Un-American Dream

Sometimes, I look at the mess of my life and have to be grateful for change and growth.  This poem really revealed more than I was intending, but I didn’t change a word.  This is the first real time I came to grips with some of the crappy things that happened to me that made me a certain way…..And so I wrote about it.


Sorry if my life isn’t a microcosm

of the American dream,

cuz from where I’m standing

the America I know is just…

a dream.

A fantasy of slavery

And its effects on this country’s people,

A wedge drawn so far

between the judge’s bench and the steeple

Eyes blinded by media (takeout) news

That we cant see that the news

is not new

the same old stuff they read from

the teleprompter at

4am, 5am, 6am, and noon,

4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, 11pm

and the syndicated replay

Re-plays in the wee hours

of the new day around 2!

Who knew?

They can put new wine in old bottles

and sell it as true-

wine from the living vine,

and call it truth.

I can’t deny,

that as a child

I used to believe everything I saw was the truth.

Like all the radio and TV shows were live,

and remember that skittles commercial

where it rained candy coated pieces from the sky?

Man! I believed that if I prayed hard enough

and lived long enough God would answer and I,

would witness the true rainbow hued pieces pour from up above,

but those dreams were scattered.

When my dad in a drugged-rage

the TV screen he shattered

with a pink aerosol can of hair spray,

busted up my mental.

I recall the day

even though now the picture is a little fuzzy

that was the day my imagination died.

Reality-smacked in the face,

quick gut-punched to my side.

Mom crying, daddy violent

childhood dreams deferred,

no matter how hard

I try to run away from its effects on my life

anger and abusive words

I preferred;

in my relationships

all the way into wedded bliss,

more like a wish.

I dream of genie

that I could blink my eye

and change from this.

This overly aggressive monster,

no womanly characteristics detected

hurt feelings, soaked eye lids

vulnerable; but weakness, rejected

I refused to get hurt.

I regreted to grow.

I denounced love.

I stopped…..and declined anything

that would make me feel

Any of the longed for touches

and soft ‘I love you’s

missing from my youth

I would rather protect myself than

be on the receiving end of pain again

but the guarded walls, lined with

electrocuting fences, only damaged me more.

if only the American dream

that I was witnessin’

was what I seen on the screen.

if only the American dream was real

If only…..

if only….

If only dreaming

wasn’t so American.


(c) Letoya “Penz4Lipz” Williams, 2015.

Photo Credit


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