Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Poems from the first ten days

I wrote these during the first ten days of the occupation, back when it sounded like we were all looking for demands and not, as it turned out, for each other.

The last one in the series was my favorite, and what I wrote after four Occupiers came to my kitchen and cooked a meal for 200. I brought it to Amy Kitchen Lady, and she read it at the General Assembly the second Thursday of the Occupation. (I was pretty chuffed that my sentiments were echoed in the first Occupied Wall Street Journal, I must say... I wonder if that writer heard my poem, or we just all found the same words for our shared transformation.)

My one demand
Is for a happy ending
Right here, right now.
Allow compassion to surprise
Cops and robber barons both.
Live with it, the staggering heart-ache of
Ever after.

My one demand
Is not to force me to choose between
Dreams and America or between
Death and Taxes.
Let me just breathe a little bit.
Each grateful breath a love letter to the future. My
Child’s birthright is
Liberty, love
Solidarity. I will
Shout myself hoarse over and over.  I would rather lose my voice than my freedom.

My one demand is to back
Off. Stop
Telling me what I must pay and what I must sacrifice.
Here is the truth: I am a mommy. I
Eat lies for breakfast and sit patiently until the truth comes.
Resistance is childish.
Sit in time-out until you learn to share properly.

I have
Made my demands in
All the ways they told me to:
Give this candidate money.
Invest your own time: AmeriCorps, phone banks, sign petitions, write letters. VOTE.
No one listened.
Enough with my demands.

This time, I am trying something different.
Helping, marching, shouting, feeding.
At Liberty Square, the 99% are trying something different.
This time, we are listening to each other.

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