Downwind (a poem)

by Rosanne Shapiro

I.    We came prepared
        with signs
        and poetry
        and a letter to deliver
        peacefully, without resistance

    They came prepared
        with blue uniforms
        and yellow tape
        and plastic handcuffs*:
        “No Escape.”

II.    They came prepared
        with “the law”
        and witnesses
        and the government
        on their side

    We came prepared
        with lawyers who care
        about what’s really fair
        with courageous experts
        who told us “The emperor is naked.”

III.    They came prepared
        with big pockets
        and half-truths
        and zero integrity
        and full-page ads

    We came prepared
        with Truth
        and science
        and undeniable facts
        they choose to deny

IV.    They will continue to come prepared
        to prove us wrong
        to deny the undeniable
        and the facts
        and the danger

    And we will continue to come prepared
        to assert the truth
        and the right to safety
        and of future generations
        to be here

* “The low cost and light weight of plastic handcuffs has made them popular with police and military forces when they anticipate a large number of arrests, as in riot control or demonstrations.” Wikipedia (emphasis mine)

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