In Solidarity I Am
I think I must have been free once.
Because I have let go of everything and everyone
for the freedom to choose what I serve and how.
In solidarity with wolf, I keep house.
Along the way, I hunt and gather,
my eyes fastened to the ground
spotting small bright shiny things
now bottle caps I cannot eat
Still, I collect them.
In solidarity with albatross, I save a few indigestible things from the sea.
And I know I held the match that burned millions. Yes, something of Hitler is in my soul
I burned too. After he spread tar in my mouth
for telling the truth.
In solidarity with the solitary prisoner,
I sit alone with God
in search of understanding
for the harms inflicted by the battered child,
harms no man forgives though revenge appeases.
Indeed, I believed peace was possible then
and I believe peace is possible now
because peace is with the child
cradled in his mother’s arms, for the first time
breathing on his own
With each gurgle she assures him
and with every silence she checks to be sure...
He is breathing. They are breathing together
like ocean and river
In solidarity with the mother, child
and breath joining them,
I am this careful peace, a slave to their gravity
the singularity at the center of a black hole
note: 'In Solidarity I Am' was originally written April 2014 as a transition poem between a month's witness with wolf and albatross.
'In Solidarity I Am' begins with reflection on one of the first stories that split me wide open. This, of an albatross mama unable to feed her babe because she had a toothbrush lodged in her throat (TIME magazine / 2000). 'In Solidarity I Am' was offered in an Extinction Witness post along with a message on feeling this pain and facing ourselves and one of Chris Jordan's Albatross photographs.
Isolation has long been used as a method of punishment and torture. Delusion is hardest to resist when locked alone. Exploring the depths can prove the light. But the physiological harms of isolation generally outweigh any good that may come of this resilience test.
'In Solidarity I Am' was specifically chosen for this day with the rawness of Nikolas Cruz' self-destruction in a mass shooting February 14, 2018.