Monday, April 25, 2016

Teach Your Children Well

On April 25th in 1983

the Soviet Union
released a letter

that Russian leader Yuri Andropov
had written in response

to a note from an American fifth-grader
named Samantha Smith
from Manchester Maine

who asked if the Soviets
were planning to start
a nuclear war.

He answered

that Russia wanted
to “live in peace
to trade and cooperate
with all our neighbors on the globe

no matter how close
or far away they are

and certainly
with such a great country

as the United States of America.”

In this reality

Andropov invited Smith
to the Soviet Union

and she became
an ambassador for peace

until she was tragically killed
in a plane crash

in August of 1985
at the age of 13.

This event is just one
which would be rewritten
in history textbooks

via an executive order
from the Trump presidency

changing the story

to end with Smith's plane
being shot down
by the USSR.

This just makes it all the more important
for people of all ages

to learn our shared history

before we all
are doomed to repeat
Trump's version of it.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.