Life Poetry

Fighting For (the dawn)

DISCLAIMER: This is my own very personal writing, it is raw and rough around the edges and, for me, very very real. Please do comment or share if you so desire, but please please please be respectful when expressing your opinions.

“Fighting For”

On Monday, I officially declared my intent to study what people believe, and why. The stories people tell and the songs we sing, the multitude of ways in which we try to live the good life.

On Tuesday morning, I awoke –
hopeful, optimistic.

By Wednesday morning I had yet to sleep,
devastated, disillusioned, shocked by my own naïveté, hurting
and very, very afraid.
Walking along familiar paths under grey skies
aimless, numb, shell-shocked,
as though there had been some natural disaster
or a devastating attack.

And there has been.
There’s been an attack on women, on POCs, on the LGBTQIA+ community, on immigrants.
An attack on tolerance and respect.
An attack on people I care about, people I love and people I could love.
And this attack was, in part, made by people I care about, people I love.
But yesterday, I wasn’t sure if the people making this attack were people I could love.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by others who felt my dismay and their own just as strongly. Yesterday I saw grey skies and tears, grey faces and raindrops. Yesterday I saw hugs and hands reaching out. I saw a community huddling together for shelter, for the support and safety and love that appeared to have been ripped away, state after state – overnight, over hundreds of years, over the course of human events.
Yesterday, I saw the frayed threads of broken hope and betrayal and the upholding of a status quo that has never held up, only pushed down far too many. Yet I saw these threads beginning to be woven together into a new story, one that sings of solidarity and exhaustion and, eventually, the continuation of the work, the fight.

But I, like many others, went to sleep Wednesday night in a new world, one that does not make me feel brave but will demand bravery nonetheless. I went to bed terrified and exhausted and heartbroken; for myself, for everybody. I went to bed hot and cold, numb and hurting and wanting to lash out at a world that continues to demand compensation for existing.

Last night, I slept.

Today, I woke to the fire of dawn spreading across the sky
and, flaming, I rose.
Today, I rise.
Today, I fight.
I will not fight against this man
or the people who supported him.
No, today I fight for.
I fight for love, for empathy,
for the recognition of the humanity of others,
not despite but because of the bodies they are in,
the places they are from,
the people they love,
and even the person they voted for.

I will fight for, not against;
because, not despite.
Today I fight for the beauty in the world,
for the good
for the differences between You and I
for the lack of difference between Us and Them.
Today, I fight for myself
and others
to be seen, heard, respected, loved, safe.
Today, I and many others will choose to fight the good fight.
Today we work, in solidarity and love.
Today we reach out with welcoming hands, trembling
though they may be,
across all these false divides
with their very real consequences.

May we rise together, today
and tomorrow,
and the day after that;
For all the tomorrows
each and every day,
like the burning sun we will rise.

 

sunrise over the Lafayette river, Norfolk, VA.
                                                         Sunrise over the Lafayette river, Norfolk, VA.

xoxo, Susan

2 comments

  1. Susan, thank you for reminding me not to hate back. As the late, great Leonard Cohen said, “Love’s the only engine of survival.” I love you.

    Aunt Lisa

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