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The Hand that Clenches into a Fist

by Maribel Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 12:55 AM

a rewriting of Marge Piercy’s movement poem "The Low Road"

The Hand that Clenches into a Fist, that Opens, that Gives

by Maribel

a rewriting of Marge Piercy’s poem The Low Road





What can they do

to you? Whatever they want.

They can set you up, they can

bust you, they can raid your station,

tear-gas you in the streets, haul you off,

pepper spray your eyes, stomp your head,

silence your word, chain down your body,

set 1 million bail, wall up

your lover. They can do anything

you can’t stop them

from doing. How can you stop

them? Alone, you can fight, you can refuse,

you can stand up, sit down, hideout,

cry out, write a letter, start a zine,

link arms

but they can put you in cuffs and take you away.

But two people fighting

back to back can cut through

a riot, think tactics, snake-dance

behind lines, coordinate, table,

leaflet, chant, sing; a line can meet a line

an army

can meet and army.

Two people can be companer@s

can keep each other sane, can

give acknowledgement

love, massage, hope, conversation, sex.

Two people and the silence is broken.

Two people can meet face to face.

Two people can break from the grid.

Three people are a delegation,

a committee, a punk band,

a wedge. With four

you can start a pirate radio station. With six

you can form a hungry marching band or wage a sit-in.

A dozen you have a phone tree, and emergency action

network, a listserve.

A hundred can reclaim a street.

A thousand you have insurgency, solidartity, a newsletter with subscribers;

ten thousand, a national movement, a magazine like Z

35,000 and you can run Ralph Nader for President or

or take Seattle for a day and shut down the WTO,

ten million, hell, start your own country.

It goes on one at a time,

it starts with lending a hand,

a hand that clenches into a fist, that opens, that gives;

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again after they said No,

it starts when you say “We”

and know who you mean:

each day you mean one more.

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Beauty in your Truth JdPrez Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 2:40 AM
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