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Thursday, June 25, 2020


by Michael L. Ruffin

“‘I Need People to Hear My Voice’: Teens Protest Racism.” High school students have organized protests in California, Maryland and Michigan. In one Texas suburb, three teenagers led hundreds of people in a march, and they say they aren’t done organizing. —The New York Times, June 23, 2020

My sisters and brothers,
I declare to you that we
have practiced concealed
carry for too long. The
time to practice open
carry has arrived.

Henceforth, let us openly
carry our right to speak
freely, our right to assemble
peaceably, and our right to
petition the government for
a redress of grievances.

A suggestion: this time,
when our grievances seem
to have been resolved, let’s
not conceal our rights of speech,
assembly, and petition again.

Not ever. Never.

Michael L. Ruffin is a writer, editor, preacher, and teacher living and working in Georgia. He posts poems on Instagram (@michaell.ruffin) and prose opinions at On the Jericho Road. He is author of Fifty-Seven: A Memoir of Death and Life and  of the forthcoming Praying with Matthew. His poetry has appeared at TheNewVerse.News and is forthcoming in 3 Moon Magazine and Rat's Ass Review.