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Joe Biden, Fellow Citizen
you can help stop this
Joe Biden, fellow citizen, chosen by and because of us, you can help stop this. Surely when you lay your body to rest at night you feel it, the reverberation of cries across an ocean that carries the tears of generations before us and the tears of the world now. As a father, surely you know the soft tenderness of an infant and the unwavering sting of death. You can help stop this. Joe Biden, fellow citizen, who holds power in your words and in your fingertips, you can show us A New Way Forward, one we didn’t know. We can be both fierce and gentle. We can call out the hate and seek justice for the weary, but Joe, we are failing the people, a people, the children, the children, the child— Joe. We are a nation from bloody wars, born from that same colonialism, and we reclaim it in the world again and again an again, as if it’s The Way. Fierce and gentle, Joe, is also a way. Grab a map and a compass, and begin with a different starting point, and ask the people to do the same. We are in a wilderness of our own doing, and we’ve pulled the world in with us. Catch the pulse of the earth, whose lands and waters ache for peace, and Joe, put a stop to this, please. The seven generations cry out now, asking us what we’ve done, demanding answers for the wars, reasons for all that we didn’t do, because they will receive the world we are creating right now. We must give them better than this, gentler than this, a new fire for a new age, because genocide cannot be the way. Joe, fellow citizen, I know you know, when you lay your body to rest at night, while the too-young of Palestine lay their bodies and their babies’ bodies to rest forever, to rest in lands unknown, that this moment demands our human care. Joe, fellow citizen, chosen by and because of us, make peace and bring peace and extend peace for the sake of an exhausted, grieving world.
I wrote this in the middle of the night, wrote it while I lay in bed beside my ten year old watching him breathe in and out, quietly, in the safety of his home, his own bed, with this mother.
Even in my work, as I travel and speak to organizations, colleges, churches, conferences, interfaith groups about resistance to the status quo of hate, I still don’t feel equipped, I don’t know what to do.
That is, of course, when I return to words, to poetry.
And this is my offering.
Peace, peace, peace in Palestine, and hope for an end to these cycles of genocide, occupation, and oppression.
Peace to Israelis fighting and protesting in the streets for the freedom of their neighbors as they grieve those they’ve lost.
Peace for the weary.
May we choose peace.