A youngster of five in his father’s lap,
laughs aloud escaping his nap.
He poses a question that sombers the tone.
Dad knows the answer must be his alone.
For a fellow just five he appears concerned,
anxious, he seems, the response to learn.
It’s a query quite worthy of such a young lad:
“Just what is America, Dad?”
In his father’s heart the reply is plain
yet putting in words is hard to explain.
Dad ponders the asking from this child of his,
says, “This my son is what America is.
She’s a statue in a harbor with a torch in her hand,
a beacon to the homeless she offers her land.
She’s the unknown soldier resting in the dust,
the silent mother who knew why he must.
She’s the lump in your throat when the flag passes by.
When you’re singing her songs, she’s the tear in your eye.
She’s a mother’s embrace, a father that’s just,
a coin inscribed, ‘In God We Trust’.
She’s the great bald eagle awatch from her perch.
She’s a family praying in a country church.
She’s the laughter of children, the smile of a babe,
proof unaware of the price she’s paid.
America, my son, is just what we make her.
She’ll stay where we leave her, go where we take her.
She’s more than a country, a people, a place.
She’s liberty, freedom, justice, and faith.
I hope that I’ve answered your question my son.
She’s special and different to every one.
A final remembrance, then it’s time for your nap.
By the grace of the Lord, She’s the child in my lap.”