Tuesday, September 1, 2020

"Courage" | Protest Poem Against What You Think It Is

To slump through these days,
gaze pinned to the ground before your feet,
mufflers over your ears,
a clothes pin pinching your nose shut,
hands numb,
your tongue in your pocket,
is to mean you're doing exactly
what everyone else is,
and so they're going to applaud you.

They're going to call you "responsible"
and a "professional."
They're going to laud your "team attitude"
and your "willingness to work with others."
They're going to say you have a "strong work ethic"
and that you "do what's necessary."
They're going to say you're on "the right career track"
and have your "priorities straight"
and that you're a "well-rounded person."

You are, however, everything that is wrong with this world.
You are part of the disease,
the cancer that is destroying all life as we know it.
The cancer needs "team players."
It needs "yes" men and women.
It needs your shortsightedness and lack of spine.
It needs you to say that there are greater things
than security and money and social standing,
but never to truly believe that in your heart.
It needs you to teach your children
fear ... fear ... fear.

Fear of the other.
Fear of looking up.
Fear of truly hearing.
Fear of truly breathing.
Fear of having an opinion and a voice.

This the cancer calls "courage."

If you can get your kids to accept that,
The cancer has just spread that much more.