Warriors

They are the warriors

Who step out first, and last and in the midst in battle

They are the warriors

Whose rage makes them

Beautiful

They are the warriors

Who wake up

The rest

Of the sleeping

The unaware

The flatlined hearts

They are the warriors

Who have seen defeat

Not once

But a million times

And every time

Have stood each other back up

To say

We are the warriors

Hearts burning

Voices shouting

Loud laughter ringing

This is what your voice

Is for:

To tell of the

Burning in your heart

Because politeness

Is not justice

The time for civil conversation

Was never

And now that we know

We cannot ever unknow again

They tell one another

In the ancient way

That guards self

and others

Because the language

is passed in the shifting

Winds

That only they know how to hear

Because they have learned

they must

They know

That what they battle is

As ancient as the earth being pulled from beneath them

And as long lived as

The water stolen from their

Children

They are the warriors

Exhausted, bone weary, stretched

For far too long doing the standing,

Sign bearing, feet marching, word printing,

Uncompensated teaching

Body hugging, voice leading, encouragement giving- so. long.

When no one else knew to look further than…

As the funerals and vigils for their dead and missing grew

They are the warriors

Who won’t hear of

Settling

Anymore

Of

Compromise

Anymore

Of

Conversation

Anymore

They are the warriors

Who stand in the marble halls

Who sit within the paneled rooms

Who disrupt the meals

Who march the streets

Who sign up the voters

Who exist in their skin and bones

Who stand at the cages

Of children

And say

No more

You are the warrior

I laid down my words

One by one

One after the other

and they sung

Election Day 2018

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