I, too, sing America

by Ally Hoff


I, too, sing America
in hospital beds,
wires stuck to my skull
with heavy glue.
In an office
checking “yes” to
“disability,” clarifying,
“I have epilepsy, but—”
they aren’t listening after that,
the “I have,” the “yes.”

I, too, sing America.
In my nightmares of
fire and threats the news
eagerly shares.
In school, working ahead,
because if the medicine
fails I can’t take back the time.
I, too, sing America—
they hear “epilepsy” and
pretend they can’t hear me.

YMCA Oasis Daylight Center
July 2017

As a generative prompt, students had read selections from Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman.