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© 2013 Grace Cavalieri


book:  Poems New & Selected The Protest

Poems:  New & Selected, 1993
Vision Library Publications


The Protest

I was supposed to make a five minute speech 
so l took a tranquilizer 
but the speech was cancelled,

I was to give another speech but 
this too was cancelled,

As you can imagine, I stayed 
tranquilized my whole life without speaking,

When the fire and blood came up 
in thin spouts through 
the kitchen floor 
I called the manager 
but it is never his fault 
if we are speechless and in exile,

He said the problem in the floor
comes from being too emotional,

I had another chance to speak once 
but the mashed potatoes lay thick 
on my tongue and my indignation 
sounded less than noble,

All the audience learned that night 
is how anger sounds 
through mashed potatoes,

"The physical is spiritual" 
I said hotly, but 
other people's impressions 
had already brushed off on me,

By the time the audience left 
I was a widow in a nightgown 
and I had not told what 
I'd come here to say.