Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Poem 1 of 300,000

for the 300,000 who marched to protest the Republican National Convention and the policies of the Bush Administration, and for the hundreds who have been arrested for various acts of civil disobedience, 8-31-2004

Juan is taken, as he requested,
bound and speechless
dazed and blind in bullhorn bedlam
fogs of pepper spray
and frustrated commuters
with no sympathy

he births new vision
in a slow steel blink
back of the bus, as he requested,
bound for cold steel comfort
in improvised cages somewhere
he faintly recognizes.

he will wait patiently
while the cruelty of paper grinds
toward the inevitable conclusion
that blocking a sidewalk is punishable
by ink, paper stapled to his back
as he requested, bound to the gavel
like a christian at the stake.

he will wear the mark,
as he requested, bound to repeat the offenses
forever brandishing the name terrorist
hippie scum
a number pinned to his soul
like the badges he spits upon
cameras watching his eyes
for signs of the secret car bomb
they know he intends to build

he will not find the asabache
the small onyx fist of his Cuban grandmother
it has been stolen from his knapsack,
as he requested, bound for the neck
of a policeman in search of stories for his grandchildren.

he is released, reluctantly,
a snarling judge eager to accept the plea.
the record reflects revolutionary threat
confined to home for ninety days,
as he requested, bound to his fate
like a bride,
but he smiles
even if he knows the world he leaves to his children
may never awaken to find
that everyone else
was wrong

because it is good enough
for him simply to know
that he was right.

He is the face in the reporter's photograph
one button of flesh
like one droplet in the hurricane.
the poet moves his pen and refuses to stop,
for Juan is one poem
out of three hundred thousand
yet to be written.


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