Do you see upon the canvas
in that painting on the wall,
how our country won its freedom,
why our soldiers stand so tall?
Do you see the purple mountains
high above the golden grains
posing there in modest beauty,
background for the wind-swept plains?
Purple mountains in the distance,
rising high beyond the hills,
hiding dust of my ancestors
where the ancient river spills.
Eagles’ wings spread wide in splendor
blending with the twilight sky,
in this land where freedom’s arrow
silenced every battle cry.
In the distant purple mountains
ranging inland from the sea,
kinfolk battled one another
in the war that set men free.
On beaches claimed at Normandy
in the battle of the brave,
truly dedicated soldiers
fought with courage to their graves.
Others lived to tell the story
why America stands tall . . .
their account depicted boldly
in that painting on the wall.
Our flag raised on Iwo Jima
island in Pacific’s blue,
symbol that our battle ended
successfully in World War II.
North Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq
and the clouds of Desert Storm
bring back thoughts of Nagasaki,
and the dropping of The Bomb.
The message on the canvas
speaks in clear and native tongue–
and all who understand the language
are true daughters and true sons.
Purple mountains in the distance
standing tall in majesty–
a symbol that America
is still the land of liberty.
© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols