Voices on the Wind
Voices of Protest
Instead of a Poem for Inauguration Day
by David Chorlton
Let someone meditate
with all the nation watching. Let someone
be seen to look inward.
Between the fanfare and the public prayer
let someone sit cross legged
and recall what has been done in all our names.
Keep poetry out of this. The art
of speaking truth to power canít translate
into speaking for power as truth.
Let someone contemplate the way
of handshakes and whispers masquerading
as democracy, but donít ask poetry
to mark the occasion. It has a reputation
to uphold. Let someone hold a blank
sheet of paper to say
the poem that would have appeared here
would never have been allowed
to be read with so many listening. It would
have been too graphic, too honest, too intent
on seeking justice. It would have spoiled
the day. Let silence ring.