28 January 2017

Forced into Wholeness



“When fascism comes to America, it will be   
wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” 




When fascists openly
divide us into lines
defined by religion
and country, white ones wake—
we repent and pray for
forgiveness.  We offer
to repay with service
the neglect of our past.

Finally needing to
move beyond privilege
in senses, mobility,
class, gender and skin color—
we gather in the streets
to telegraph our protest
in facial expressions
and holy sign language.

Even those who can’t see
strategize with neighbors,
plant symbols in gardens
and harvest together—
and those who can’t Facebook
or Twitter surf over
libraries to learn from
the runoff experience.

We travel to stand with
the attacked, imprisoned,
forsaken and betrayed.
They can’t shoot all of us;
and to know this great love—
this wholeness unheeded
for so long—is to live
triumphant at long last.




My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

25 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

They can't shoot all of us. A great poem. I hope Congress grows a backbone, and soon.

Martin Kloess said...

Here is a bitter truth, which you stated in the opening line. "When fascists openly divide us into lines..." What side does the majority stand on?

Therisa's World said...

As a minority, within a minority, your words ring true, Susan. For if, no one stands up, for the Muslims, whether US citizens or visitors, the LGBT+ community is the next target, for Trump and his goons to attack, with total impunity.

Kellyann said...

I love this. Thanks, Susan!

Sherry Marr said...

"this wholeness unheeded for so long"....it is good to feel the solidarity when good folk stand against injustice, oppression and division. Those who would divide us actually make us stronger in unity. Great poem, Susan.

Mary said...

The words of this poem resonate strongly with today. You wrote this in January. I would say - today, even moreso than then! We definitely must move beyond privilege & ACT in our own ways to stand with the people who are the fascists' targets and others who soon will be. So true that they can't shoot all of us. We are the majority - yet - we have to show strongly what we believe.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Beautifully bold, defiant and hopeful!

Sumana Roy said...

"When fascists openly
divide us into lines
defined by religion"......It's as if the poet is monitoring the worsening situation in my country (India) and registering a protest. The poem has a universal appeal, Susan.

Thotpurge said...

The imbalance and inequality in the world is such that it creates power centres.. without equality and peace the world will slowly be splintered. Wish a few billion voices will be heard together for peace.

Jae Rose said...

A powerful and heartfelt write - they can't shoot all of us spoke to me too

Vandana Sharma said...

The silent protests and peaceful demonstration are more powerful than violence.

Vinay Leo R. said...

divide us into lines
defined by religion
and country,


so true for so many around the world... :(

Sanaa Rizvi said...

'Finally needing to move beyond privilege in senses, mobility, class, gender and skin color— we gather in the streets to telegraph our protest in facial expressions and holy sign language'... Such an incredibly powerful write, Susan!

John Buchanan said...

Very well said, Bravo.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Fantastic shaking of the metaphorical fist. "They can't shoot all of us", indeed.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

"They can't shoot all of us"

You're right. The righteous are like weeds, springing up everywhere, uninvited!

J. T said...

These lines:

we gather in the streets
to telegraph our protest
in facial expressions
and holy sign language.

are very noteworthy. I love it, thanks!

Gillena Cox said...

Deep truths harboured here

Have a blessed Sunday Susan

much love...

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

A great call to arm our backbones, our souls and consciousness with this poem and especially that last line....

'and to know this great love—
this wholeness unheeded
for so long—is to live
triumphant at long last.'

It is exactly what I hope and pray for daily.

AuraOfThoughts MeenalSonal said...

Each word essays an experience felt so strong. May we all stand in unison.

indybev said...


It's heartrending that we're becoming a nation divided. Your words are profound.

Truedessa said...

sadly, the world is changing and I am afraid not for the better.

Wendy Bourke said...

A powerful post. The quote, literally, gave me shivers and then I moved on to your poem. Exceptional writing that lays the sad, sad situation out, without equivocation. The ‘dumbing down’ and ‘repackaging’ of that which IS, has become commonplace and, to my mind, is lulling many people into believing that the situation is ‘not that bad’. But it is! I believe that every time good people tell it ‘like it is’ – a blow is struck against tyranny. There is work to be done. And, as you say, ‘They can’t shoot all of us’.

annell said...

What kind of world have we created? A pwerful poem!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yesterday our comunity met with First Nations and taled about reconciliation and moving forward......this morning, i witnessed a racist bank emplyee humiliate a First Nations person in public, speaking to him in a way he would never address a white person. No wonder it is so hard for them to trust us.