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Special Project: 45 Poems: Reflection & Response

Poetry by Alexis N. Misko
(Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Why We March
Published October 1, 2017
"Why We March" by Alexis N. Misko in Eleventh Transmission
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Why We March

by Alexis N. Misko

For me it began with words,
from Mary, Emily, and Emily,
the Jane of real life and the Jane of fiction,
Charlotte and Charlotte,
letters building and growing
with poisonous feminine finesse.

Words toward actions,
shouting and crying of Susan, Alice, and Anna,
Inez, Sojourner, Elizabeth,
bloody desperation and finally freedom
thrown into the ballot box.

Then into quiet sleepy kitchens came
Gloria and Betty, bell and Alice,
Audre, Shulamith, Simone,
Frida, and Angela,
a liberating jolt of truth and life
for all the sisters to march on
with meaning.

Then we scattered, content and proud,
our voices in law and comedy and medicine,
in politics and art and science and music:
Hillary, Malala, Alanis, and Ani,
Lena and Tina, Beyonce, and Amy,
every woman to speak
and act and laugh and sex and be,
in hijabs, en español, queer lips to vagina,
black skin breastfeeding a beautiful future.

But in this world with every choice imaginable
and every possibility alive,
where are our actions now, our words?
Where is her story?
Among the raping trafficking shaming
planned interference with planning parenthood
blue lives all lives no lives matter
shooting judging screaming berating
stand up shut up shut down…

But:
to all those women who cracked the glass,
to all mothers with daughters and fathers with sons,
to all the beauties feeling empty on Instagram,
to those who think the fight has ended
or praise too highly the institutions that raised them,
to those who’ve lost their critical eye and logical mind,
to those who are searching or self-righteous…

We are more than their definitions of us.

Look in the mirror.
Wake the fuck up.
We are all here.

We are ready.


Biography
Alexis N. Misko’s work has appeared in Broad! and The Lascaux Review,
anthologies
The Ides of March and Celebrate! Young Poets Speak Out,
and
Til’ All Are Free, a publication supporting survivors of human trafficking.
Alexis lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.
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