Shae O'Brien grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and it has bred her to have a love for music, coffee, the ocean, and rain. Her love for writing was planted at a young age, with the encouragement of beautiful family and inspiring teachers, and grew into a passion she cannot go a day without. During the day, Shae is also an English teacher, promoting the art of the written word among the youth of Austin. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Off The Wookie, AIPF Di-verse-city Anthology 2012, and TWENTY: Poems In Memoriam. She recently self-published her first chapbook, "Truths Unspoken", which takes the reader on a poetic journey through the passion, love, heartbreak, and rebirth of a relationship. You may find her on any given night writing or performing her work around Austin, TX.

Please note that all poems and/or parts are the property of Shae O'Brien and should not be shared without giving due credit.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Promise of Tomorrow

I look at my daughter
Adorned in a star-spangled dress,
Eleven months passed
Since her fight for freedom
From her mother's womb,
And I wonder
What is this "freedom"
She has been born into?
A recited pledge?
A knock-off replica of a banner
That once represented
The promise of tomorrow
So many yesterdays ago?
What does it represent today?
What do the words, etched in ink,
Signed onto parchment paper,
Hanging in museums,
Say to us now?
Do they even speak at all?
Or have we silenced their intent
With our political ambition,
Cutting and pasting history
To fit the poster boards of our desire?
Trading, like baseball cards,
The parts we approve of
For the parts we wish to leave behind?
Here, you can take "We the people..."
But only if you don't include "they".
I'll trade your "life and liberty"
For a little "happiness".
Oh no, you can keep your "pursuit of"
That part is too much work!
Our dream of freedom much fought for
Now fights for remembrance against
The dementia of our society.

My daughter fights for her freedom
Against the glass door between her
And the back yard.

This is her America.

My husband chooses to spend
Our day of independence pursuing
The freedom of work, to work
To better himself and his home
By mowing the land he owns.

This is his America.

And I,
I sit here in observance of
My promise of tomorrow
As she giggles and growls
At the puppy struggling for sleep,
Writing words of my own
Not for history or for future
But for freedom
Of a dream
I am grateful to attain.

What is America to you?

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