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Monday, January 22, 2018


by Elane Gutterman

“As a woman, I feel it’s my responsibility to be here. Practice the privilege you have. I came from a land where people had to die to vote. Americans can change their history by protesting.”  Awalin Sopan, 33, from Virginia, dressed as a character from The Handmaid’s Tale. Ms. Sopan, originally from Bangladesh, became a United States citizen in 2017. —Photograph by Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

 “Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” —Martin Luther King, Memphis, TN, April 3, 1968

Why not let others
Demonstrate, agitate, escalate?

Stretched in yoga, weekend routines we
Equivocate, abdicate, meditate.

We rely on the media and courts to
Investigate, adjudicate, mitigate.

We’re overwhelmed by the acts of the 45th to
Disintegrate, contaminate, perpetrate.

The way his core of supporters
Adulate, gravitate, accommodate.

We’ve grown accustomed to a mind set to
Dominate, fabricate, fulminate.

On MLK day, I heard his speech evoke dogs and firehoses to
Activate, necessitate, consolidate.

At the Women’s March, last Saturday,
I stood my cold ground to demonstrate.

Elane Gutterman is a health researcher and poet, whose poems have appeared in the Kelsey Review, Patterson Literary Review and the US1 Summer Fiction Issue. Living in West Windsor, NJ, she attended the Women's March on New Jersey in Morristown.