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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


by Margery Parsons

Inspired by the young demonstrators in Madison, protesting the police killing of Tony Robinson.

Spartacus on a hill
dreaming up at a tapestry of stars
as slaves from a far flung empire
prepared to fight Rome.
What made the ragged minions
with nothing to call their own
except misery
dare to challenge Caesar's throne,
its fearsome weaponry,
legendary battles won,
and all the philosophical sophistry
used to justify its reign?
What gave them the temerity
to defy gods, to tear down
idols, to question
the exalted certainty of the known?
Look into the eyes
of a mother who has lost her son
to a centurion,
a father carrying the remains
of a child slain by drones.
Listen to the cries
of a generation doomed to oblivion
and you will know why you must rise
as they have done.

Margery Parsons is an activist and poet; she lives in Chicago, works for an arts organization, loves movies and music.