Saying No

Out of a crack in a cement sidewalk, a tiny green shoot emerges.

I have a voice.
It is a small voice, perhaps, but it will not be silenced.
When you call for black people to be beaten, and excluded, and even removed—I will say no.
When you attempt to silence Latinx voices—I will say no.
When you mock the disabled and threaten the oppressed—I will say no.
When you shout your plans for exclusion and division and terror over and over again I will say no, and no, and no.
If you build a wall, I will stand in the way of your builders. If they knock me to the ground, I will lie in their path.
If you come for my Muslim siblings I will force you to take me first, and I will not go quietly. I will say no.
If you ask that they register I will be Muslim, or Jewish, or black, or Baha’i.
And I will be at the head of the line, over and over, with each thing that you do;
You will hear my voice, ringing in the stillness,
Saying no.