Day 11 of a poem a day from Vagabonding, my second poetry book manuscript (this one from the “One Step Forward” section that I broke off to come after the “Backwards for Forwards” section of “Don’t Think of a Pink Elephant” and the rest).


Take the files, pass them on, find a plane, and get on.
Otherwise, they’ll kill us all.
A complex time. A simple call.
Snowden and Ellsberg urge you on.

And what of the smaller windows of that form of resistance
that tends to destroy the resistor’s existence?
Once I copied my own files
and mailed them to the paper
never thinking that I’d move 4,000 miles
to walk away from that caper.

I do not think it made a difference.
The papers ran
across the land.
Freeing the information did not touch the ignorance
that had made injustice king.
Only reopened the unhealed sting.

If you choose to speak
although it’s hard and hurts,
first commit to turn the other cheek
if no one in the crowd converts.

I do not regret trying.
Only that, as martyrdoms go,
mine was so unsatisfying.
I told a truth no one wanted to know.