This past Saturday, my husband and I went into Boston to join in the Women’s March. We were amazed at just how many people – different kinds and flavors of people! – showed up. As an attendee, I’d like to say: don’t believe everything you read, and please ask someone who was there to describe it. I read something very valuable that said, maybe the March didn’t have very specific goals or outcomes, but maybe the point was bigger: the point was to be there for each other. And that is truly how I felt. This Tuesday, we set no theme for our poems and both of us ending up writing poems that reflect something of the March.
THEME: Officially, none; unofficially, politics and/or the Women’s March
Then They Came for Me
First they came for the Muslims,
and I chuckled at a sarcastic tweet about it-
Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the LGBT community,
and I double-clicked an Instagram photo about a LGBT rally that i had no intention of attending-
Because I was not LGBT.
Then they came for the African Americans,
and I read a Facebook post about it from some kid I knew in high school who it turns out is pretty racist now-
Because I was not an African American.
Then they came for the journalists,
and my Mom emailed me a Globe article about it that I didn’t read-
Because I was not a journalist.
Then they came for the scientists,
and I expressed my outrage by tweeting a joke about it to my 200 followers-
Because I was not a scientist.
Then they came for the women,
and I joined millions of women in marching around their cities, hats and signs held high, (neither of which I had), after which I spent the night excitedly checking to see how many people had ‘Liked’ my photos from that day-
Because I was not a woman.
Then they came for me-
and there was no one left to give me a retweet.
I’m not sure what to do with all this pain.
I keep accidentally getting caught on it, weighed down
So that it stretches my sinews and bones.
When I do unstick it,
I accidentally bludgeon people with it.
So it goes.
But if I play the game fairly, though,
I don’t even win:
I don’t even have the most pain.
What I do have I keep close
In between my ribs, at the ends of my hair,
Sometimes even tickling my teeth.
The patch on this old wineskin is busted;
There seem to be none new around.
So it goes.
I’ve tried piling it up but it falls slipshod
Through my kitchen and down the halls.
I can’t even keep it together!
I’ve tried frying it in a pan.
The smooth oils and sizzles only make it
If I can get my pain just right –
At the center of my guts –
It pushes my spine, and straightens me out, and I can see.
So it goes.