Tipping Point

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 21:29 -- sdunlap

We took a step back, I think.

Interpret how you will,

but I will interpret this year as thorns

we have placed in our own fingertips

preventing ourselves from moving

and pretending we have been brushed

with rose petals when really,

we're just stuck in a thorn bush.

I recall 6pm movie nights as a child

watching Prince Phillip stab a dragon

and race through a wall of

deadly vines, slice through them

in a deadly metal ice storm, not even wincing at

the pain it must have caused.

I don't know what kind of calluses he has,

but we are not made of the same star stuff.

No, I am much softer, and when hate wins

(I told you to interpret)

... I can hurt.

Walking down the street sometimes,

I picture myself being stabbed or

shot with an arrow.

I have imagined it so many times that

the pain seems impossible, 

that hopelessness seems impossible.

But hearing of so-called "incidents 

of intimidation",

I feel sickness grow in my gut,

a searing, swooping, decaying dark mass that

twinged with phantom pains.

We took a step back,

and though imaginary arrows may never slay me,

I now understand the texture of brick wall against my back.

Because I took a step back.

But there is no brick wall in front of me,

just a glass ceiling above me,

and though it's been reinforced

I will make it rain, and all my allies

will hold iron umbrellas forged with

love and acceptance.

To make that happen though,

to rally my troops,

I have to slip through this mass of thorns,

suffer my fools

and acknowledge the blood dripping down

the fist I have raised in the air.

I have been hurt, but my body will adapt to heal, 

and each scar I take on my hardening skin

is the memory and instigation of a fight.

And no fight is won through waiting.

My weapons are in front of me,

tongue and pen and presence and signature.

I will write my grievances in every color

And I will fight.

I will take two steps forward.

I will sing and dance and scream.

I will send and share and march.

I will fight, and with my sisters,


and everyone in between,

all the dragons in the world 

will not stop us.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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