Sometimes, all you need is the people
Sometimes, far away from the place of struggle
Living in the belly of the beast
You feel as if the struggle is no longer your story
No longer your narrative
That the struggle of the people
Of the poor
Of the masses
Is your story
That no matter how hard it has gotten
No matter how disappointed you have been
Or how demoralized in the fight
The struggle is ever-present
And the people only wait,
Even as they continue the fight,
Continue to die,
In the wars that you never see,
And continue to fight the battles never heard,
Like Freddie Ligaw
Who died because he wanted to protect his people.
They only wait.
The people only wait.
Know that you are integral to the movement
And the movement is integral to you
To you feeling free
Feeling free from being dogged down
By a 9-5
That looks only to profit from you and your labor
By your student debt
Not being able to help your family survive
Not being able to start your own family
Not being able to ride the train
And be free from the sight of poverty
See how many
Have lost their homes
And their lives
Lost in that gap
That gap between
Having and not having.
When all that is valued is profit.
When all that is valued are things
You become a thing.
The struggle is part of you.
Your everyday life
Is submerged in the struggle
Although you never see it
Although it seems far away
Because you being free
Isn’t cast by a ballot
But is bound up
In the liberation of your people.
Even if it is hard
Even if you are dog tired
Even if you feel like you are useless
Come and be part of the struggle
To feel free
All you need
Is the people.
Written for A Special Evening with Norma Capuyan
March 18, 2014