kneeling for justice

hot sun focuses
with laser-beam precision
on one fallen leaf
illuminating darkness
barely hidden beneath rot

I’m a white woman with a history of being beaten and humiliated. A history I can pretend to ignore if I so choose. In fact, many people I’ve met in my adult life would prefer it that way. It’s easier for everyone if I’m an exception to the rule.

The rule, of course, would be that good girls are rewarded. I don’t buy it. In my experience, good girls rarely find their voices or their strength. They’re too busy trying to please or appease whoever is just above them on the food chain. Or the love chain. Or the work chain. Or the social chain. Need I go on?

Fallen leaves. We love to sing their praises, especially in autumn.

Yesterday evening I went out for my evening walk. The air was exceedingly hot, dry and heavy. Not a cool downdraft anywhere. Walking my favorite paths was like pushing through desert heat. Beautiful in its way, yet almost unbearable.

The search for justice is like slogging through a wasteland of dry leaves falling prematurely from still-green trees. They’re just dead leaves. No problem. A dime a dozen. There must be something wrong with them.

The analogy isn’t perfect. Yet my hat goes off to brothers and sisters who dare kneel for justice denied.

Kneeling wasn’t a safe action in my girlhood, unless it was to pray alone before God who never abandoned me. As an adult white woman I choose to kneel today with those who focus light yet again on what has long been barely hidden beneath rot. Wherever it resides.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 September 2017
Daily Prompt: Focused