By | 1 November 2019

And yet there are new shoots growing
from the bamboo in the spring sunshine
and the cat is warming himself on the pavers.

The violets are ankle-deep and three snails
have left their silver trails across the path where
they exited the denseness to get to where they were

going. The neighbour’s traps in the back lane
have caught nothing; last month I opened the gate
so a rat could scurry out while the cats watched,

bewildered. A man writes a woman in ecstasy
or terror
and I fling the paper across the room
because he doesn’t know or care either way.

Every place we look a man traverses a country
littered with bodies. I want to plant signs that say
here was April, here was May, here was June

They use the passive and try to erase us. A voice
breaks the silence but they tell us we are all
human, we are flawed, we cannot do anything.
No one

is asking for perfection—just courage. We’ve lit
the fire. Come out of the cave. Listen: believe those
of us who have survived. We have nothing left to lose.

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