“At U.S. 82 and Alabama 25 & 219”

This was the National Day to Defend Education—hundreds of strong actions
across the U.S. I drove from my home town to Tuscaloosa,
where Students in Solidarity with the Crimson Ride Shuttle Drivers
& the local SDS chapter rallied to support workers fighting for
a union, a living wage and respect at my alma mater, the U of Alabama.
More on that later--for now, here's a poem in honor of the day.

This is a place people usually pass through, twix
n’ tween, intersection, no conjunction, just a way
to somewhere else. Not the crows this morning,
stunt diving tricks between the power lines. Not me,
I was raised here, I come back all the, all the time.
But the Walmart rigs roll through, the log trucks
with pine trunks pale as skinned knees, how mine
hurt on the gravel at recess, the mercurochrome
stung, like memories coming, going, then gone,
then suddenly standing by me as I pick up shed tree
limbs in the yard and whirl them into the woods,
by me, in me, her arm arches and hand extends,
the impatient vigor, the vim, the stubbornness.
Once I brought a friend to visit, and disappointed,
she said: It’s so small, I thought it was bigger,
much bigger, the way you talked about it. She’d
grown up in a city, she had this notion big things
only come from big places. Anyone who thinks that
could stop, and just look at a word, or at a hand.

For my article on the Crimson Ride drivers’ struggle, see:

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment