Social Justice Poetry

To the Candidate | A Social Justice Poem by Diane Woodward Dorff

I know you.

You are the film of spilled oil
on the surface of the pristine sound;
twisting and slick on the unsuspecting water,
surface compromised.

You are the jagged words that tear the air,
that as soon as thought,
burst forth in violent phrases,
hating all who are not you.

You are the first mosquito of the summer,
leaving your saliva in swollen bites:
an ugly reminder
that you were there.

I know you.
And I have had enough.

I choose silver puddles
and honking geese making their way south
and the smell of autumn leaves.

I choose the faces of babies;
the understanding in the eyes of mothers;
the songs leaking out of the churches;
the greetings of the bus drivers;
and the smiles of strangers.

I choose life with
the disabled who speak their truth
and the women who choose not to be victims
and the people without jobs
and the people with accents
and all the friends and all the strangers
who make this place their home.

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