"The Great Leafing-Out”

On April 12, Leslie & I joined the Buffalo
International Action Center and others
in a protest against the racist, sexist, anti-gay
“Tea Party” movement.

The man with the rattlesnake coiled on his chest
yells in my face, the battleships loom battlements
above us, and the crowd clanks over a gang plank
to hear the fulminating speaker throw his words.
They say they’re not racist, they say they don’t hate.
We say words won’t make it so, not even our own
marked on placards we hold as shields against
three hundred of them, thirteen of us, that’s why
we are here, chanting Fight, fight, fight, the slant
slice of our hands, our signs, hold a patch of grass
for us to root stubbornly there, a thicket of ideas:
Corporate greed breeds racism. A job is a right.
Now three men shout at the perimeter, Get a job!
as if to battle them about the future isn’t work.

An hour later we’re at a Thruway rest stop, fast
food, faster cars, we eat at seventy miles an hour,
no sign anything has happened, except a thin
digital proliferation of messages, interruptions,
interpolations, a small line in Boston is snaking
through the bigots, the struggle for the present
moment from which the future comes, shouting.

Yesterday the maple tree dropped its own reality
at my feet, a twig waving red-green paws, curled
with little finger muscles of seed. Over my head
and further than I can see the tree tops brighten
in a green sunrise. The beautiful moment between,
when something has begun and is not finished yet.

See a roundup of recent actions against the extreme right-wing:

And Leslie's pictures of anti-facist protest:

Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment