Poem: How the Revolution Started (Second in a Series)

stroller patrolExcerpted from “How the Revolution Started: Essays and Impertinent Thoughts.”

How obvious and ingenuous and untenuous

Is the adoration she has for the child, the one she pushes in a fourteen hundred dollar

Stroller? Her smile radiates a protective shroud of love over the low chariot

And protects the sleeping boy inside, oblivious to what we sometimes call reality –

Oblivious as his parents, who pay her to push. The parents who crow to their friends,

“We pay her next to nothing and she’s grateful for it!”

She loves him as if he were her own.

On her worst days, when the bus is late or crowded

With handsy men and garlic smells, or when the dream she crafted and believed and returned

To faithfully, like a psalm, becomes hard to see, fading,

the screen

Cracking, distorting, the story ending faster

Than she wanted – on those dark angry no hope days

When she feels like a thundercloud, a riotous crowd,

she wonders the worst. She wondersBeautiful young female executive holding telephone handset and cell

What kind of world is this where one Lady goes to a job in which she sits in a chair

And talks on the phone, while the other lady, the one paid by the phone talker, watches over

The more important Lady’s child – while no one strolls with her child, her boy, the one

She leaves at home in front of the TV games with her great aunt?

She knows, she feels in the deepest part of her chest, that her boy

Is worth just as much as the boy she watches for next-to-nothing-gratefulness wages. That’s when

The rages boil, scalding the back of her vision. She’s in no mood

For decision making or new path taking. But when the wrongness brings her

Nearer to tears than God,

She allows herself a moment of precognition: She sees

herself letting go

Of the stroller. Washing her hands of the whole business. Relieved.

the revolution has begunMaybe she applauds, the smack of empty skin instead of handlebars. Maybe

She spreads her arms wide, like Jesus on the cross, maybe she throws her head back

And laughs.

The sleeping boy will be OK, she’s sure, for yes it’s true what you saw:

she loves him as if he were her son.

That’s how it happens in her new vision. She lets go and

He’ll roll down the hill on all four wheels, all green lights, straight shot

Down the slope to the office building where his mother

Will be waiting to catch him, ready to realize

She has a son. And so does she.

And so do all the shes. And each child

Is the most important baby in the world.

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