So come home
along the dusty hickory-shaded ruts
with scotch broom ablaze
and orchards rising behind the sharp green
of berry fields. Come on ahead
if you can, with your fractures and played out
luck, your shoes that have forgotten
and had to be carried.
Come with steel-colored hair and slivers
of music half embedded in your heavy arms.
Did you think they would know you
topping the rise, smiling in so much
quiet it must be Sunday here
but it isn’t? Did you suppose Jesus
here, too, suffering the little children,
preaching to the hill?
Whatever you thought, come on
having got so far, having found permission
for this finally—blue—again sky, dense
with robins and their singing.
The ice man’s here, and the occasional horse
before a plough
and men and women who’ve risen
and walked here happily all their lives
and who’ve had so little but this happiness
they can’t imagine why you’ve been away.
Protesting rarely brings about the social change we want. What should be done instead?