Crossing the picket line (a picket rhyme)

I had to leave my picket sticks behind
My spare thin planks of wood, for my picket signs
What loss. How irreplaceable.
Okay, but what if there’s a protest tomorrow?
How will I march without them?

Two years I campaigned for equal marriage.
With petitions and articles, videos and processions.
Waving banners in step with politicians.
When mental illness and homelessness and poverty are bigger issues
For our community. I do not care for the solidary of conservative MPs.

Sitting in a room watching a woman’s story be dismissed.
We all know he probably did hit her, but she shouldn’t have been drinking
So much while her underage daughter was in the house. Child services
Will have to be informed. I am not a journalist yet and there’s nothing I can do.
Contempt of court is serious. The identity of the child could become known
If names are mentioned. I see him smirking.
This is justice working?

These things bother me. Apparently that’s a good thing.
It doesn’t mean I’m a good person though. Sitting there passively learning.
Watching suffering. How can any of us do anything?

A room full of teenagers look at me trying to explain contraception.
And a young man asks me question after question about same-sex protection.
The information goes in boxes at the side of my features.
I type out messages. Go get tested, go get tested, go get tested.

This tension. Positionality is a concept I believe in. You cannot be objective.
My prejudice bleeds through every word I write. Everything I say. Everything I
fight.
Where the enemy is. What is wrong. What is right.
I still think we must reclaim the night.

But I had to leave my picket sticks behind.
My spare thin planks of wood, for my picket signs.
What loss. How irreplaceable.
How will I march without them?

(c) Ana Hine

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