poem for a revolutionary who doubts herself
we're standing on the curb smoking
and you raise your face to the sky
wanting to know why couldn't i have been around back in the seventies?
you read books about struggle and feel small.
you walk along fillmore in the february wind
while cops circle the block again and again
wondering how come
in a time when so many grow up
and go out
without even the hope
why when we need a movement
more than ever
there's less and less talk of revolution?
and like you said
we need more than a job center
a drop in clinic
more than a free meal
more than a few lives saved.
we need more than this block
more than this city
more than five hundred
or five thousand marching.
but we're two
and upstairs in the office there's three more
cutting flyers and making phonecalls
and at the senior center down the street
we could find six and seven
been sitting alone in their rooms
without enough cash for taxi fare
and on the bus
i know we could get eight, nine, ten
out of work
riding up and down town all day
filling out forms in the hope of a bed tonight and
there's number eleven
counting out rolls of pennies in safeway
yesterday in juvie i met twelve through twenty
armed with pencils
and they have mothers and lovers and brothers and friends
who have a neice and a godson and a downstairs neighbor
and we'll get to enough.
we'll be the light on our granddaughters faces
when they pierce the sky with victory.
"poem for a revolutionary who doubts herself" was originally published in The Civil Disobedience Handbook (Manic D Press), April 2002.
Dani Montgomery is a 24-year-old poet and activist. She teaches creative writing and runs a youth internship program for the San Francisco Arts Commission's WritersCorps program. She also works for The Center for Young Women's Development, an organization that works with young women involved in the juvenile justice system and underground street economies to promote social change and self-determination. She has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including: Revolutionary Voices, The Civil Disobedience Handbook, The Santa Clara Review, and Anything That Moves.
Issue 2 or Lodestar Quarterly home page