I wrote this poem during the North Minneapolis 4th Precinct occupation of November-December of 2015. I had gone out there a few times to drop off water, hand-warmers and other simple things to provide some comfort and warmth to those who had established a encampment there. I attended several presentations and scheduled gatherings there as well, and sometimes just went there to share in the collective sense of loss, or anger, of communal outrage and determination.
I tried writing more poems about that period of time, however nothing seems to come out right, and this was the most succinct thing that I could create so far regarding that period of time.
Tonight, A City Alight
A city burns,
A city burns tonight.
The whole world watches,
while my city goes alight.
They’ve cordoned off the precinct,
might as well have been a fucking warzone checkpoint.
But none of that matters, for we will still gather, mourn, and march.
What is stirring here,
both bold consciousness and weary fright…
More piercing then the gunshots is that cry,
“Not my child, not mine!”.