In light of week 1, I turn to poetry. As someone whose partner is a highly skilled poet, this is intimidating. Admittedly, my past adventures in poetry writing have often been littered with tired cliches and obsessive rhyming. Not cute. But today, I struggle to find enough words to craft multiple full sentences in a row. I struggle to find words that come together to form a sentence that makes sense. And so, I turn to poetry out of necessity. Hopefully you will bestow upon me your gentle critiques.
Today, I cried.
not cried, wept.
Tears fell down my cheeks,
like single rain drops on my windshield,
catching up with others around them
to form bigger drops that stream down the glass,
falling fast on a heavy, gray day.
My eyes growing red and weary, I wept.
I wept for my country,
for my friends,
for their families,
for strangers detained at airports,
for people I’ve never met being forced to return to countries I’ve never seen.
I wept in my car at the gas station.
I wept in the bathtub,
at the grocery store,
and driving down a new road.
I wept in the on-campus library.
This campus where years ago, I grew up,
where I got grown.
I found my independence, my voice.
I began to feel...different.
“Different,” I think to myself.
Different good or different bad?
...I suppose it depends on who you ask.
But it’s in this difference that I find comfort
The kind of comfort that comes from knowing the truth
These days, the truth is painful.
It’s wrapped up in painful, abhorrent phrases like,
“Ban All Muslims” and
“Build a Wall”
Shame, embarrassment, and anger wash over me.
I search the internet looking for an ounce of hope
And it comes in the way of a stay
The word lingers inside my nausea.
Please don’t leave.
I love you.
I need you.
You matter to me,
your tireless spirit
Tomorrow I will wake up, and it will be a new day
My anxiety and fear for the new day haunts me in my dreams
I pray for a new kind of cry, a new day of rain,
this time, the kind of rain that comes on a sunny day
and brings with it a rainbow filled with hope,
A sky full of clarity and light
A promise from a loving God
A God that today seems like a faint memory
But until that day comes,
I know only how to spread love and share truth
I vow to write, to resist,
to tell stories and make art
I will continue to create and speak out and call in
And to fight for the welcome invitation you deserve simply because you are breathing
For it is in the mere existence of that breath that I know you are whole
On behalf of the resistance, we beg you to stay.