People's Park: Round Two

Our hands are a flower
tearing up the asphalt
that covered the People's Park.

No fence can hold
a thousand people
acting together.
We bore the fences down.

They thought they had paved us over
with advisors and bulldozers, lies,
guns, and the weariness. Some of us
thought so too. No one knew
how to name the roots that kept growing.

Our hands are petals,
the earth is an eye,
the light of our fingers
pushes back the darkness.

We uprooted their sterile forest,
the basketball backboard they raised
to enchain us in play in a cage.
We tore off the uniform links,
bent the bare fence-posts together,
discovered the principles of leverage,
ripped up the pavement in chunks.
It came up a hell of a lot easier
than it went down.

I planted myself in the earth of the Park.
They paved me over too.
For three years that place in my mind
has been numb, numb, numb
as an endless rain of bombs
over Indochina. When I touched my soil again
sparks leaped in every mind,
energy refracted back around the globe.
Before they brought the guns again
we planted a single yellow flower,
signal to roots in sister struggle.

But it was our hands,
our hands, hungry petals
opening the eye of the earth,
tearing skin in our haste
to toss aside the broken darkness,
let the sun shine through.

                                          9 May 1972