by Jim Farfaglia
Texas was always first,
the piece as big as all get out.
California was easy too,
fitting like a bent arm against the Pacific.
Florida was fun,
heading south like a hitchhiker’s thumb.
New York a cinch – my home state –
and way up north, Maine would go.
Then over to the Great Lakes
where I’d slip on Michigan’s mitten
and make a stop in the Midwest
for the piggybackin’ Dakotas.
Alaska and Hawaii were freebies –
floating off to the side in ocean blue,
and I loved how they bunched together
all those New England states – bonus!
Mississippi and Alabama went back to back,
ready for a duel,
while I pulled on Louisiana’s work boot
and picked up Oklahoma by its handle,
‘til I was down to the last few –
too rectangled, too middle-America
to tell one from the other.
But I kept at it, determined to unite those states,
to piece together the greatness of my country.