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How Could I Know?–Day Eight OctPoWriMo: October 8, 2017. #OctPoWriMo

October 8, 2017

mississippi65-66barbatfreedomhouse

How Could I Know?

Naïve and trusting child,
how could I know
when I took that bus to Mississippi
my mission to fight injustice
would not still my country’s hate?

How could I know
those charged to serve and protect
would be fed on fear
incited to shoot others
based on the color of their skin?

How could I fall asleep?
Pretend the world was different now?
Arrogant do-gooder
convinced my brief battle for justice
would somehow change the world

Smug and insulated
frozen in privilege
only aware of what our moneyed masters
allowed me to see
I lived in a middle class dream
not knowing my own complicity
my subservience to affluent power

Then an old white man spoke up
challenged the masters who
made war for profit,
exploited the earth for their greed,
pitted the poor against one another,
used difference to divide

The millennials heard him, too
penetrated the corporate walls with their technology
posted videos of violence,  dared to acknowledge
truth concealed by politicians and their owners
rallied to destroy the deceivers
were defeated by deceit

When I was a naïve and trusting child
how could I know that in my maturity
my mission would be to fight the same battle,
back a new generation’s bid for justice
beseech them to stay awake?

 

 

7 Comments
  1. I am truly touched by your words.

  2. Barbara, this is magnificent and powerful. I read it aloud to my Judy. Twice. You mentioned revising; I wish you would let it sit for a few weeks before doing of that. Your message, your word choice, the alliteration are so good.

    Many lines struck me, but I will just cite a few:
    Smug and insulated
    frozen in privilege

    How could I know
    those charged to serve and protect
    would be fed on fear

    my mission would be to fight the same battle,
    back a new generation’s bid for justice
    beseech them to stay awake?

    Thank you, thank you.
    xoA

  3. Laura Costner permalink

    That sinking feeling when power at the very top erases what you taught others. You went a step further and put yourself at risk. If only we could have defeated Reagan and the neo-cons that followed so all the Democratic movements would have kept the country moving forward. If only.

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