A poem for the massive protests led by
working people in Greece last week.
They continue to resist a government
“bail out” of banks with revenue
obtained by cutting their jobs and benefits.
The AP and the AFP reported marchers
chanted "Thieves! Thieves!" and
“The struggle will never end!"
Today I saw a tanager fly its black-winged red flag.
I stood watching in the rain, waiting for its whistle.
The radio had announced finance ministers to consult,
sounded quite deliberate. But the TV split realities:
On the right, a money trader, hands over eyes, hid
from the crevice of loss his numbers were falling into.
On the left, a sound I’d never heard, a firey whoosh
like a furnace, some kind of engine pounding, unison
rhythm, a crowd in Athens chanting to advance,
retreat, advance against a thin grey fence of police,
their barbed arms. The people outnumber the police,
they raise fists again, again, to break down that fence
The world watches the line bend, the people create
a rift, the numbers shift, the people shout no, no,
they won’t work til they die so the banks can live,
corporations into corpses is their cry, and the state?
On the asphalt blackened by rain, green-winged
maple seeds scatter the same small mathematical
symbol, the angle reads lesser than > or greater than <
Repeated by the millions, the meaning depends on
where they stand and what they mean by equal.
--Minnie Bruce Pratt
Creative Commons 2010