July 22, 2008


When there is no good in us
Summon Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Corrie
Summon Emma Goldman, Philip Berrigan
Summon Walt Whitman, Cesar Chavez
Summon James Baldwin
Summon Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman
Summon Harriet Tubman
Summon Mother Jones, Medgar Evers

Be with us now
Be America
Be with us in our marching
Be in our bodies that lie in streets
Be in our nightmares as we try to sleep
Do not leave us
Whisper, hector, shout
through our bullhorns
through our throats

We are America
We are Elizabeth Cady Stanton
June Jordan
We are Muriel Rukeyser
We are the miners shot at Homestead
We are Sacco and Vanzetti
We are Langston Hughes
Essex Hemphill
Paul Monette, Audre Lorde
We are hope, we are nothing but hope
We are the ancestors to come
We fling ourselves into the future

Come, say it with me:
We are Sojourner
We are Truth

—Sarah Browning
First appeared in Beltway: An On-line Journal, special issue honoring Walt Whitman, Winter 2005.

Posted by dwaber at 01:48 PM