Please, my country, do not mow the lawn today
Walt Whitman, today, we let the grass grow
long under our feet.
Wearing your Sunday clothes, walk with me
in the beautiful morning over the river,
down Canal St. to the barricades.
You are hungry. In a basket, Ann carries
homemade bread, cheese, tomatoes from the garden.
Jesus, let every two-cycle engine malfunction, today.
For one day, my country, do not drink coca-cola,
or watch movies. You who are young and give
the sweat of your labor to Taco John’s, Hardee’s,
Burger King, Arby’s, Domino’s — do not report for work.
We are going to shut this great country down
for one day.
Oakland style — Black men with dignity do not
unload S. African ships, or pay homage
to her bank:
Those of us with strong backs do not unload
freight, today.
Secretaries, corporate executives, wives and lovers,
students, lend us your hope and more.
If you are in prison, lend us your courage.
Homeless — you are not homeless:
Welcome the sheltered into your heart.
If you are dying of AIDS,
Do not die in bed.
We will carry you to the barricades.
We who have married our fortunes together,
sit down in the grass for awhile,
let us regard one another, the way
people look at themselves in the mirror,
and smile.
Please, my country, do not mow the lawn today.