Yesterday, I Walked

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From the Women’s March on Lansing, Michigan

Yesterday I walked along

what I expected to be a lonely road.

The fog was thick, the dawn was grey

and everywhere the voices, distant

ringing from a moon-blanched land

where winter gripped the roots.

 

Yet not a snowflake fell.

The ground was naked where I walked

stripped bare by the marching feet of folk—

men, women, the breaths of all those

cast aside by category and by creed,

a tremulous cadence striding by ones and twos

into a mass where silence could not reach.

 

I stood a while, by and by,

listening to the notes that misery had stirred,

and in the notes I hear the tearing cries

of history’s ebb and flow,

which built upon a thought suppressed

by years of doubt and faith.

 

No longer.

The dam has broken,

stripped away the vast edged lips that said

“Look at all the Other Things that you could do

Listen to the stillness and know that you are one

In an endless sea.”

 

Well they were right, weren’t they?

But the vastness does not belong to them,

it is a gathered voice, built of tears and edged

by staggered breaths no longer afraid to roar:

we have clothed ourselves for winter

and found that we have stamped it into spring.

 

Let it be true, let the world open its dreams

to you and I, the various, the beautiful, the bold

no longer alone, but crying out

not for the world they know but a world demanded

from the ignorant and the certain empowered

by an army built on hope.

 

Come away, come away from the lash of false praise

they dig out to divert; come away, come away

from the salt they sprinkle to tire and divide;

come away, come away with diligence,

listen to the voices of the sea, to the sirens singing

each to each, and know:

you are not alone.

(Yesterday, I walked with the thousands who converged for the Women’s March on Lansing, a part of the international Women’s March movement–something that turned out to be the largest protest in the history of the United States. But the actions cannot stop there. It is a beginning. But one that should demonstrate to all those who could make it and all those who watched that they are not alone. It showed millions how to forge connections beyond the bubbles we so often throw up, and learn how to effect real change: together.)

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