I arrived at the Middle School carrying
A three-foot-long model of the U.S.A.
Fashioned out of frosting and rice krispie treats,
With the Oregon Trail marked in green sprinkles.
At first this history project seemed absurd,
Sugar-coating every hill and valley.
But in the end, perhaps all of our attempts
To explain our origins leave us gasping:
Manifest destiny, guts and glory, luck.
We spend our lives reshaping the stories
We tell about how we got here, with frosting
To cover the cracks we aren’t ready to show.