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Wednesday, June 24, 2020


A Protest Poem From the Homefront
by L. Rose Reed

Khyra Parker raises her fist during nine minutes of silence during the sixth day of Denver protests in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. June 2, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Light, as globes, with my glasses off
is grainy and golden like champagne
served in a round crystal bowl.

The champagne bubbles unfold like
radiant paper birds, floating downstream.

I like to take off my glasses
and watch the bowls of light float

through the crack in the windshield where the world gets in.

Tonight the city is alight with anger.

I saw a fire on my cracked phone screen
A police car burned
in the video Tweet box, its orange and red blooms
more vibrant than any windowbox firelily.

White lilies are graveyard flowers.
They are growing in someone else’s city,

but also in mine.
Have you checked yours?

Were the lights turned off, when you last checked?

Better put your glasses on
and open your eyes wide to the lights
in your city,

those red and blue bubbles
bursting like strange fire

upon the righteous multitudes.

The people clamor, “Justice!”
their fists raised high

like the empty hands of Liberty
waiting to grasp their torches.

When I squint past the curve of the world
and into tomorrow,
I can almost see that sweetest cup of light
as it resolves into an upraised

Black fist

—that brightest of beacons,
from which Revolutions

L. Rose Reed is a historian and former teacher. She writes queer YA speculative fiction and narrative poetry. When she isn’t taking home too many books from her job at the library, she is rehearsing for her community chorus’ next concert. Reed currently lives in Aurora, Colorado with her siblings-of-choice and a clutter of cats. You may find her at her beloved spinet piano, or online and on Twitter.