Arise! by Meridel LeSueur (1985)


p1035 Thunder of Our Solidarity Meridel LeSueur
p1035 Thunder of Our Solidarity Meridel LeSueur – Poster available here


They came, bright over the old African horizon
They came, wave after wave with their wounds bandaged in flowered woven bandages.
They rose in great waves, earth in their flesh
They came out of slavery upon which the western world was built.
They came appearing in their massive soaring power.
They came rising out of the mortgaged stolen country.
They came out of the corrupt city of Nairobi, the skyscrapers actually embedded in the starving breasts of thousands of starving farmers and workers.
The property sign brazenly, Standard Oil, Exxon, General Motors, all the predators from my country now looting the earth and the cheap labor of living beings.
They came in the thunder, carrying their dead children.
They drummed and danced and shook the gourds in flesh and power and survival.
Don’t stop me, the Sudan woman cried, I came to speak of hunger.
Don’t stop me, I appear at last.
I am not supposed to be here, I was not supposed to survive.
We are supposed to be gone.
But we appear in the thunder of our solidarity.
We claim our earth.
We claim our flesh
We have been nought
We shall be all.
I saw them. I am an old woman and I began to dance.
I will never be afraid again.
I will never feel alone again.
Dying in the old deathly world with the murderers.
Assassins. Vultures.
I will never leave the rising power of the oppressed.
The earth shall rise on new foundations, dancing, singing and the touch of love and the hosanna of freedom
They come.

-Meridel LeSueur