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Poem for the 99% by Josh Healey of OccupyCal

Thanks to Roger at News for Greens for the story and video link.

When Hope Comes Back
(A Poem for the 99%)

when Hope comes back

he will be more than a campaign slogan

and a face on a poster faded red, white, and blue

he will not come from a presidential palace

bought and paid for like a Citibank stock option villa

he will put not forget to put on his walking shoes

and join the picket lines in New York

the bread lines in Baltimore

to shake the calloused hands

of everyone walking by

when Hope comes back

he might be named Barack

but he won’t be named Obama

when Hope comes back

he will be a Black Panther baby

who speaks Spanglish

and cooks Korean tacos

and does 180 sun salutations

to the soundtrack of Zion I

– yes, Hope is hella Bay

when Hope comes back

he will be a UFW farmworker

who loves his fields and his flag

more than he hates his foreman

he will be a runaway foster child

who forgives his parents

he will be an Iraq war veteran

who returns to protest in Oakland again

without tear gas canisters to his head

when Hope comes back

he will come back from the future

in a DeLorean like Michael J. Fox

and show us all the things we’d won

like people swimming across the Rio Grande

for fun rather than survival

and the only student debt being to our livers

rather than to our banks

and then Michael J would take us

for a ride back to the past

and show us this is not our first occupation

Flint, sit-down strikers in ‘36

Alcatraz, American Indian Movement in ‘69

Sproul Plaza, Free Speech Movement in ‘64

and every semester since then that was worth a damn

and reminded Berkeley what it means

to be called Berkeley

when Hope comes back

he will be one of my students

East Asia meets East Oakland

brilliantly cross-continental

even though he hates the ocean

speaks with the wisdom of Buddha and Mac Dre

really, he is my teacher

and I think he knows it

and we’re both ok with that

when Hope comes back

he will actually be a she

because hey, that’s who actually gets shit done

she will be a librarian by day, a DJ by night,

an Occupy activist in between

she will be thick hair and thick hips

and if you try to touch either one

you’ll get a thick hand to the face

when Hope comes back

she’ll show us to burn down the banks in our

hearts and love without lust or profit or restraining orders

when Hope comes back

she will be an OPD cop,

then NYPD, then UCPD,

refusing to follow orders

putting down their riot gear

and picking up a picket sign

cuz when the cops join the 99% they actually belong to

that’s when the banks will have nowhere to hide

when Hope comes back

she will be a midwife

in tune with the moon and the womb

an ancient healer who knows every herb in the redwoods

ready to help us birth a new world

one without bombs or borders or Michelle Bachman

a planet of peoples free to honor the earth

and each other like the God

in whose image we’re still trying to evolve into

when Hope comes back

she will be here

right here, right now

on the streets and plazas and parks

of New York and DC

Milwaukee and Austin

Portland and Nashville

London and Manila and Cairo

San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, CA

with the people and the hashtags

setting up her tent in the morning

paintings banners in the afternoon

attending ridiculously long meetings in the evening

shutting down the port of Oakland

and reminding us all that yes,

Hope still lives here in America

she has always lived here with us

and now she is back before our eyes

marching head high, fist higher

and whispering to the millions amongst her,

“Thank you.

Thank you.

You’re bringing me back.

Take my hand,

feel my pulse joined with yours.

Trust my taste on your tongue,

my strength in your lungs,

and let’s see how far we can go

together.”

__________________________
******************************

Video: (Contains F-Bombs)

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7GAGcH4NnME]

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