What I Tell the Young When They Ask – poetry by Margaret Randall

The art of resist. 



What I Tell the Young When They Ask


fictitious argument
luring or barking at your door
Don’t ask your doctor
if seduction is right for you
only his wallet knows for sure.

turning away
from that which gleams in the sun
covers itself with unfamiliar cloth
or pronounces words
you do not understand.

don’t ask don’t tell
because it requires a dance of deception
steps on your toes
grinds them into a bed
of broken glass.

smoke and fire
water coveted in plastic bottles
a planet
too warm for life
too bleak for skin.

de-sexed corn, ancient grain
forced beneath the knife
regeneration taken by force
a trail of paper bullets
murdering surely as those of steel.

those who make
better bullets and bombs
clusters of pain
designed to kill
when hunger takes too long.

uniform or priestly collar
disguised on a scale of one to ten
books and tablets telling you
what will save you
from yourself.

my country right or wrong
men promising sound bites
answering only what they want you to know
then riding their rigged smiles
into a house of purest white.

the one on top
pitting his god his catchy phrase
a tune that taunts your face
spits in your eye
erasing the life-giving stories.

losing the ones
who know your name
call you from sleep
filling your mouth with music
when you wake.

rules created for you alone
and all your sisters and brothers
born and unborn
for they threaten
morning’s fragile light.

disappearing into little boxes
of perfect safety
where risk is nowhere
greed is the prize
success thickens in your veins.

erasure of all our histories
for the sake of your
one and only life.
Listen to the small sounds.
Open your eyes.

-from Their Backs to the Sea
forthcoming Fall 2009, Wings Press, San Antonio, Texas


Posted in USA, World. 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “What I Tell the Young When They Ask – poetry by Margaret Randall”

  1. troutsky Says:

    A great word we need to hear more often

  2. Henry Melito Says:

    what you resist –persists

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