Thursday, February 2, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Kayla Pearce

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.
In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, explicitly condones or implies a call for violence, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


Inauguration Day
By Kayla Pearce


I walk into my classroom to find
that my pulse races when I see a student in a red hat:

Cardinals. I spend the next 80 minutes lecturing
about rhetorical devices and waiting for my palms to stop sweating.


I pass white men taking solitary strolls in red hats.
One laughs to himself until I see another

laughing back from the other side of a window,
a nod shared between the two.

This victory lap
was pre-meditated: evidence hangs heavy

around his midsection, pant legs hitched
at the thigh to reveal the tops of his socks,

a peek of skin. I picture them laughing again
later over his bravado and stale pretzels—

their wives at home, pulling yellow gloves
up to their elbows for the night’s dishes.


I used to envy the 60s, I tell my officemate.
They had such righteous indignation.

Later, I’ll see photos of another bombing in Aleppo,
and lose my dinner of sweet red wine. 

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