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We Shall Not Be Moved

A prose poem looking back to look forward

Gail Walter
Sep 2 · 4 min read
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Public Domain

January 19th, 2017

This is a very sad day, it tries to deny it, we try to pretend, but it won’t go away. Today is the last day of an America to be proud of. Tomorrow we become ashamed.

Tomorrow the invasion begins in earnest, and it is an invasion with all the implied violence. It is the feeling of flat on the ground, face in the gravel, something heavy in the middle of the back so that the stomach has nowhere to go. It is a posture of death. It is a posture that cannot sustain life. Parts of the dying earth fill my mouth so that I cannot breathe and cannot speak.

This is a sad day that smells of death and chaos, anarchy and the end of the world. I taste metal in my mouth, gun metal. The air is so filled with panic, the air itself, and then us alive in this air? We all feel sentimental about survival, we all feel like goodbye. This is a sad day.

This is the end of days, if days had a choice and could leave when there seemed little point in staying. But this is when days stay even after the burnt out ends of them.

Wilted days past their sell by date. These are sad days. Sad days full of disbelief, emptiness, sad days that can’t believe themselves. Sad days full of the stench of extinction. Grab hold of the air between your fingers, see how dispirited it feels, drained of oxygen.

I hate you day. I never thought we would get to here. I believed something would save us. I believed there was a determined justice. I believed in justice not backing away, not turning round, not walking out. I believed in justice.

Sad day, how dare you. How dare you shine, and bask. Birds sing in the woods where people walked into ovens and went up in smoke. Birds sing. Did they sing then unheard in all the screaming.

You say I am too much, but this, this is too much. What sound shall I make, something smaller, meeker, something disproportionate, shy, unheard. Shall I give up?

Because fighting makes you feel uncomfortable, because fighting makes you feel uncomfortably like drowning, because fighting makes you feel close to dying. Because when you fight with the elephant in the cold, merciless room, it exists.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry this is so awful, but I didn’t make it. I didn’t make it so but I won’t deny it. Even as I have no agency to stop it rolling in, I won’t deny it. I will die yelling its name. I shall have blood on my lips. It shall be named.

Dying angry is lively, living, livid. I shall die a great shouting red gash. Hear the rush of wind when something is broken. Let the wind tear your ears off. Let my shouting wound you. We shall not be moved.

Ballad to a bully, as you roll in, unstoppable, by all that is decent. You are a bright orange beacon of death. We shall not be moved. You are my vivid nightmare come alive to end our lives. You even sound like death. You sound like ashes in my mouth. I shall not be moved.

We will stand here past our sell by dates, bathed in the bleak pale light of a dying planet. Surprised that you, you, a riot of unconscious orange shake your fist at the brilliance of the sun, shake your puny little fist at this thing that has shone for all our existence on this planet, that you shake that famously tiny balled up hand of yours, the one that doesn’t know what the other is doing, that you shake this inconsequential thing at the sun without our permission and it listens. Or appears to.

You only appear Donald, an unfortunate cataclysm of chemicals, more absent than here. You are a sorry chemical mistake, loud, brash but inanimate, disowned by any force of life.

Dies unowned, tries to take us with you. Orange you are not forgiven. Orange we will invent hell to swallow you. We will match flames to your unbelievable hair so that all of you looks like conflagration, tastes like it too.

I have had it with the mistake of your invention. You should not even be here. You are a flaming mistake. I will swallow your existence like a circus man swallows flame. You are extinct. Snuffed. The end of orange.

On this sorry eve of orange. End of the world orange. You are no sunrise, sunset. No natural occurrence, no sentient being. Danger to all life. Orange danger to all life, that’s what you are.

Plastic beacon on the road signifying upcoming accidents. You are plastic, you are orange, signifying obstacles, signifying catastrophe coming. And we shall not be moved and you, you will one day, never too soon, be gone, be removed. Oh saddest of days.

One day, you will be gone.

November 3rd, 2020 is coming.

© Gail Walter 2020

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

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