January 19, 2017

Abby E. Murray

POEM FOR MY DAUGHTER BEFORE THE MARCH

When your father says
he doesn’t want me to march
what he really means is
he doesn’t want you to march.

He doesn’t want me to march
because you will follow.
He doesn’t want you to march
by default, on my shoulders,

because you might follow
the songs of women
by default, on my shoulders,
raised on bread and justice.

Daughter, the songs of women
are the first words of children
raised on bread and justice.
Blessed are the ones who sing

the first words of children:
this is how I love you.
Blessed are the ones who say
they follow songs into the street.

Poets Respond
January 19, 2017

[download audio]

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Abby E. Murray: “I’m marching in Seattle this weekend in solidarity with those who have been openly threatened by the incoming administration. At first, I planned not to bring my daughter; she’s three and won’t understand; she’s potty-training; she’s innocent—all the reasons. Then, when I realized I had no one to stay with her because her father will be overseas and all the people I trust are also marching, I knew she’d be part of the march as well. I am nervous and a little proud. The structure of a pantoum made me feel more secure.” (website)