Empty Handed

I built a fort around myself
I thought you could not get through-
Steel and nails so high
I thought I could prevent you—
From ever getting inside.

I crouched down low in a corner,
With my daughters…
And I put my hands over their mouths.

I knew building the fort was smart.
We would hide inside and make art.

We had a flashlight and nothing to eat.
We were playing “here comes the rain again…” on repeat…
but I knew you could never infiltrate our tower.

Hour after hour…
I was sure we were safe-

Until you blew us up out of the earth with your strike…
And my fort fell apart like it was made out of paper and my children were scattered far out of my reach.

Everything smelled like bleach.

Your words got in.
Your hate got in.
Your intolerance got in.
Your face got in.
Your domination got in.
Your abuse got in.
Your power got in.

You said “I WIN!”

We cried.

And we had shrapnel trapped in our skin.
Pieces of your glass house while you laughed and you grinned—-
Fanfare we never expected.
Everything about you, we completely rejected.
You remind us of terror.
You remind us of pain.
You make us think our whole world has gone insane.
We feel fear.
We feel shock.
You ripped the hands right off the clock.
All the progress we’ve made-
You’ve undone. Years of work
You ruined it –
In 18 months.

The lives lost.
Harvey Milk.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The dedicated warriors
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Stanton

You washed them and their work away while you mocked us every day…

She was the most qualified person ever to run in the history…

You’re the most notorious catastrophe
you won…

She walked away empty handed.

Little girls cried… they thought they saw themselves in her.
But she dissolved and you appeared…
“I just grab ’em by the pussy…” you sneered…
Now we’ll get raped… much more often thank you.
Now we’ll get killed much more often thank you.
Now we’ll be less qualified much more often thank you.

Playing on repeat…

“Here comes the rain again falling on my head like a memory… falling on my head like a new emotion…”

Photo Credit: Kelly Kline Flickr via Compfight cc

  1. Hi Elizabeth! I was at Rise Up LA last night and was really moved by the performance of this poem. I am in a mother daughter group who is dedicated to raising independent strong women and I would really like to share the full poem that you performed last night with them. Can you update or share the longer version of the poem?

    Thank you for considering and than you for your inspiring words!

  2. Elizabeth, this gave me the chills when I read it. You captured the whole stinking plan of his and how we are all afraid now. Spot on.
    I really am afraid of #notmypresident but what can we do? He’s not gonna use Obama for anything. Barack is gone once he leaves the property. Then, I gather, he will have the best cleaning crew come and deep clean the black outta the White House. Boo hoo for us all!

  3. Wow! John Michael and Dori Owen… I am humbled. Thank you. There is still so much I want to say… but it was the best I could do for now. I appreciate you reading. Please share… what else can we do?

  4. Powerful words. This is our chance to raise up and fight against this man who preaches hate and arrogance. Sometimes I can’t take any more. We are living in a parallel universe but we can work towards a brighter future.

  5. John Michael Antonio

    Absolutely floored by this piece Elizabeth. One of the most powerful pieces of poetry I have ever read. Wow.

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