Poem by RevHeather: “Do Not Ask Me”


There are many who are saying
to me: let’s wait and see.
Do not ask
to wait and see.
The President-elect, so-called, says
it should become a crime
to burn the flag.
I look at that historic, revolutionary
counter-cultural act of protest
and know it is the first of many
attacks on free speech.
First: the flag (a front: free speech & certain protestors, gone)
and then, who will you come for next?[1]
The flag and then (just one letter less)
…the fags? (The queers I love.)
(Our rights to live.)
How long until more freedoms are forsaken
in suppressive silence?
Do not ask me
to wait and see.
To ask me this
is like asking a mother
to leave her child alone in the
hands of a murderer, and just—
wait and see.
Well, that mother is me.
I cannot
wait and see.
Some day–
we will all be dead. That is a certainty.
This life we have
is our one opportunity.
We can use it to
make harmonic rhapsody,
powerful poetry, fiercely-loving community,
or spend it all
caught up in our solo human maladies.
Do not ask me
to wait and see.
I care too much
about our humanity
I care too much
about this Earth—
I’m too aware of all our fragility.
Do not ask me to wait and see.
A seven-year-old grows up today
speaking a language her family had to relearn;[2]
an entire language, (nearly) an entire people destroyed.
“So much has been destroyed”[3]
just outside the small scope
of our self-centered sight.
We have got to enlarge our
whole world of witness.
I will no longer
play hide-and-seek
in the old way; no more hiding
from reality.
People must become louder than profits
right now, this week.[4]
I will not focus in
on what you advertise
for me to buy.
I know those advertisements
are a distraction
and a lie.
Do not ask me to wait and see.
Please, shout
out loud
and everywhere
with me:
stay woke.
Get stronger.
Prioritize and
build your energy.
Do not
do not wait
and see.

If this poem speaks to you and you want to engage more with post-Election2016 actions, please join RevCathy on Thursday, December 8, from 7-9pm in the Meditation Rooms at the Unitarian Society of Hartford Meeting House. That evening we will host the first of a likely-series of “Spirit and Action” gatherings: feeding our souls, checking in with our hearts, and making plans for actions (new and ongoing) as we prepare for Trump’s presidency. We will come together to have our spirits nourished in brief worship and circle sharing, followed by a facilitated open space to talk about what individuals are doing to live out our justice principles right now (and what support you need to continue those) as well as begin talking about how to deepen and build on our work as a congregation (e.g., becoming a Sanctuary Congregation, letter writing campaigns, building more bridges with impacted communities, deepening our refugee support and racial justice work, etc). Come with your spirit (however buoyant or broken), come with your longings, come with your ideas and energy, come with your questions. Let RevCathy know if you’d like to help (revcathy@ushartford.com, 541-390-7553). All are welcome, whether you have been to USH before, or not. Now is the time to connect, to act, and to deeply support one another.

[1] Martin Niemoller’s poem—“First they came for the Socialists” https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

[2] http://ourmothertongues.org/language/Wampanoag/12

[3] Adrienne Rich quote; http://www.cpt.org/blog/2010/01/12/so-much-has-been-destroyed

[4] http://www.indiancountrynews.com/index.php/columnists/winona-laduke/14339-the-beginning-is-near-the-deep-north-evictions-and-pipeline-deadlines

Read more: Article about Rev. Heather’s recent trip to support the Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors in North Dakota: http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-campbell-sioux-north-dakota-pipeline-1127-20161123-column.html