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.


About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

2 responses »

  1. PERFECT last poem for me to read late on Memorial Day. History is told by the "winners," in this case, old white men who have lots of money. Thank you for the reminder, and for the vivid imagery you employed in this. Amy

  2. Thanks, Amy! At least I'm learning something from middle school this time around…


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