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Saturday, November 23, 2019


by Ron Riekki

“Arrests made as hundreds protest Ann Coulter speech” 
Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2019

Walking to the grocery store, I turn a corner to see
dozens of cops in riot gear, them loading vans
with weapons, the militarization of the police
where I see more of them in this minute—as I walk
nervously through their bulletproof everything—
than I had seen in a decade of small-town life,
but this is the time of riots and gear, of fire and fear,
and I remember walking to the same store just after
the last riot where the ground held footprints in blood
where I could see the exact path where someone had run
for their life, and my neighbor told me, "I bet today
was the hottest day it’s ever been here,” and there’s
a streetlight gone, the post yanked out of the ground.

Ron Riekki’s most recent book is Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press).