Watershed

When will we believe
We all hold the power for harm?
Just by being
Just by existing

Most of us never get to see the sting of tears
The mental gymnastics to try and understand
The bellow of anger at our ignorant words

Most of don’t get to see the twists and turns of words
To wrap around our reality
To gently nudge us into the light
To make us believe
Make us see

We deny our own power
Because we often feel powerless ourselves
Complacent in a world that feels too heavy to hold in our arms
To shape something that we could never mold in our soft fingers

What we don’t see are the workings of an institution we inherited
The silent rules we uphold
That we reinforce in the name of good manners
And social correctness

So what to do when the weight of the world has crushed you
Made you believe you are always wrong
Just by breathing
Existing
Walking
Speaking

You walk away
And around
And through

Run alongside trying to wave down the eyes that always look past
Until you’re breathless
And exhausted
And no longer have the energy for being polite.
Because you’re tired.
Just tired.

The pain has become too great
You can no longer restrain it within the walls of your protected spaces
So you open your mouth to object one more time

What follows is a river of rage that cannot be contained
It bursts from you with a force you didn’t know you possessed
Until it flows into others’ streams
It rushes wildly into public spaces uncontained

And it feels good. So good to finally be seen. To be heard.
To have your rage noticed. Your pain.

The weight of a thousand dismissals finally evaporates
And all that can be said are the same refrains
The ones collected over a lifetime
Distilled into short responses

Because institutions hold themselves up
By cooperation
And denial
And complicity

The foundation of privilege will not crack until the ground shifts around it
The pillars cannot stand if we continue to silently support them

Let the air in
Let the water rush
Let the storms beat against our walls

We have so much to lose
But a wider, richer world to gain