A Demonstration

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Aaron Poochigian

A Demonstration


      Out of three-word slogans, hopes and applause,
      out of the rapture of a righteous cause,
      what started as a passionate parade
      has blossomed into restlessness, has grown
      so charged that from behind a barricade
      the State is threatening her little ones
      Disperse! Disperse! Or. . . . Rhythmic fists and chants
      rise up like middle fingers. Rocks are thrown.
      (The goddamn “them” are waging war on us.)
      Canisters choke and blind; a flashbang stuns.
      Taser electrodes bite en masse and mass
      chaos convulses like a modern dance.
      (The goddamn “them” are waging war on us.)
      Crushed glass,
                             a burning bus,
                                                    a trashed shrill sign.

      Such is the rage we each feel every day
      to rupture barriers, to hold the line,
      to make the stubborn heed the words we say.