A Day of Mourning

Photo: Jilbert Ebrahimi

Photo: Jilbert Ebrahimi

Today is a day of mourning.
Whatever you are feeling, feel it.
What happens next?
The honest answer is: I don’t know.

Today we cast our gaze backward
and see how far that gets us.
Or we fix our eyes on the steep climb ahead,
when there is also this road,
only this road our brothers have braved
and our sisters have sung,
this road soaked with the blood
of my blood and the bones of my bones.

Today, anything goes.
We remember the night of broken glass,
the night of red overunning all of our maps,
the night of disbelief and yes,
this is real, this is really happening.
We are not the first
nor will we go down as the last
ones standing up for and against
the walls they threaten to build,
the ones my child told me
can’t get all the way to the clouds.

Today we take one day to mourn.
Maybe two or three or four,
maybe we channel this grief
and disgust into the kind of courage
that reminds us never
ever give up.
Maybe.

Today is a day of shame.
We voted and it was not enough.
Our fingertips grazed the glass ceiling
but our white clothing served to remind us
that it was a white woman’s fight
and this, there is no forgetting
or forgiving.

The demagogue will sell you down
the river and the river will deposit you
into polluted oceans that connect us all.
I am ill. Today I am ill.
If I say, none of the right people
will read these lines,
then who are you, and who am I?

Today is a day of mourning.
Of lament. Of memory the body carries.
Of frozen silence and blazing fury
and give us a minute, can you just
give us a minute?

Today is a day to turn off the news.
To feel whatever you feel.
To kneel before no man
and to heed the call of your own heartache.
Stay — please, please stay — inside
of your own skin, your own body.
Be safe there.
Be safe.

9/30

#30poemsinnovember

7 thoughts on “A Day of Mourning

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