Standing against the tide
A tide of fear, shock and trepidation washed in today,
It nearly engulfed me and swept me away.
(Reminded me of that time, as a kid, when I nearly drowned.
I was swimming, just off the shore, when a big wave pulled me down.
I rose to the surface, tried to breathe, but my throat was stuck, I tried and tried
I forgot how to swim.
My arms thrashed and splashed,
my feet kicked frantically underneath me,
I thought I was going to die.
But then, my flailing toes touched the sand, and I realised I could stand.
Oh, the relief I felt when I realised that I wasn’t in too deep,
that I still had solid, sandy ground beneath my feet...)
Today, there’s been wave after wave of analysis and comments and confirmation
that bigotry, inequality, misogyny and discrimination
Today, that news took my breath away.
But, I’m holding steady against the riptide of racism, xenophobia, homophobia
And all kinds of hate that goes hand in hand
with those in the UK and the USA who shout aggressively about ‘taking back their land’.
I’m breathing in deep. I'm ready to swim against this terrible tide,
with anger, sadness - and fear - as my guide.
I've nothing more to offer than my feet to march and my hand to write,
one small voice for inclusion, fairness, equality - determined to fight.
But that one small voice will join the many, the many, who feel the same,
to create a compassionate tsunami that shouts and roars, 'You won, but not in my name'...
9 November 2016