Magazine · Non-Fiction

Three Women on Trump: Hope

by Suzi Q. Smith

 

I.      The Good Old Days

“See, in the good old days this doesn’t happen, because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, you know, they would not do it again so easily.”

“You see, in the good old days, law enforcement acted a lot quicker than this, a lot quicker.  In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast.”

“We’re not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days — you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

II.      To-Do List: Preparing to Live in Trump’s America

  • Apply for your concealed carry permit No, violence will not solve this – they will always have more of it than you.
  • Make sure your daughter, your nieces, all of your darlings have access to birth control and a long-term plan – either not to have children, or to raise an unflinching army of them.
  • Double-check health insurance – will we still have it? For how long?
  • Learn your medicine. Take care of your teeth and bones and blood. You will need to sharpen them all.
  • Buy a gun. Buy several guns. No, now is the time for prayer – it is the only weapon that will work. They will always have more guns and they love the way your insides look when you wear them out.
  • Have you eaten today? Food made by hands that love your mouth? You must remember to eat.
  • Breathe. Breathe again.
  • Steady your shoulders and practice your aim. No, remember the order of succession: President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, Secretary of State . . .
  • Make something honest with your body every day.
    • An ark.
    • An afro.
    • A dress.
    • A song.
    • A stew.
    • A poem.
    • A prayer
    • A spell.
    • A belt.
    • A slingshot.
    • A howl.
    • A hurricane
  • Gather your tribes. Remember the places you have created to exist together; the landscapes in your chest where all of their names are written, the ledges within them offering you shelter. They are all still there. This is still the world.
  • Breathe.  Breathe again.

 

III.      “We will be ourselves and free, or die in the attempt. Harriet Tubman was not our great-grandmother for nothing.” – Alice Walker

 

I have survived the good old days.
I have survived my own memories.
I have survived 37 Colorado winters.

I have survived poverty and its shame.
I have survived a thousand closed doors and cages.
I have survived my choices.

I have survived seventh grade.
I have survived bad hair and awkward clothes.
I have survived beauty.

I have survived weight, gained and lost.
I have survived bodies, in mine and out.
I have survived hands.

I have survived loss.
I have survived violence.
I have survived my own attempts at murder.

I have survived racism.
I have survived single motherhood.
I have survived statistics.

I have survived patriarchy.
I have survived men who pretend to know more about God than I do.
I have survived phony gods.

I have survived love.
I have survived marriage.
I have survived sin.

I have survived forgiveness.
I have survived divorce.
I have survived my own worst impulses.

I have survived unexpected knocks at the door and uninvited telephone calls.
I have survived the police.
I have survived the reasons I have called police.

I have survived America.
I will survive this.
I will survive this.

 

 

Poet and author Suzi Q. Smith has shared her work throughout the U.S., sharing stages with the late Gil Scott Heron, Nikki Giovanni, Talib Kweli, and many more over the years. Her work has appeared in Union Station Magazine, Suspect Press, Muzzle Magazine, Malpais Review, Peralta Press, and more. She likes her coffee with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

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