Inauguration and the Women’s March To Follow

Author statement: Poet Tricia Knoll is looking forward to marching in Washington with her sister-in-law, her sisters, all of our daughters and their sister-in-laws and friends. Sixteen of us in pink pussy hats and carrying signs. Website:

Inauguration and the Women’s March To Follow

Apprentices choreograph an oath on a white leather bible,
cherry-picked verses of man’s dominion and destiny
over wilderness, the flesh of women, the tired who yearn
out from war, the tribes who lost ancestral lands.

If it snows, deniers claim the proof of pallid
pudding that climates are not a’changing,
times are reversing course to some great again
only a few men of no color ever knew.
The poet who shows up offers faint praise
and veiled warnings written on skin.

Where high school bands play ruffles
and flourishes, where soldiers march,
horses prance knowing that after this race,
there are more triple crowns to lose.
The salsa bands stay home.

Women! Warm your boots
to march your signs –
“Say Her Name.”
“Drain pipelines. Love wetlands.”
“Remember before Roe v. Wade?”
“No means No.”
“We ain’t what we was.”
“Black Lives Matter.”
“Speech. Not Silence.”
“Together. Unstoppable.”
“Trump Lies. A Nation Dies.”
“Women’s rights are human rights.”
“Mothers Say Enough.”

Held-high placards for next-step resists
and long-ago women chained
to the White House fence for the vote,
those who tended underground railway stations,
who led their tribes, who wore down
million-mom boots to demand
the ERA and equal pay, parental leave,
healthcare. From Shirley Chisholm
to Hillary Clinton.

We reach across crowded intersections.
Roll forward in wheel chairs.
Trample out this year’s vintage.

Walk for nasty daughters.
Wend this stony road for nasty grandmothers.
Welcome men who walk beside you.
Walk with nasty sisters
you do not know. Yet.
March with those still on the trail of tears.
Let not weary feet give in to weary years.

Let us lift our voices to listening skies,
healthy rivers, kids huddled in bleak boulevards,
mountains, traffic, returning eagles.
Till victory is won. Marching
again and again and again
we shall overcome.

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