Working on a Building
written the morning of Wed. June 3rd, 2020
I may be raped if I walk alone, or never become president, but I do not worry about losing my white life to a policeman, or racist neighbor, or judge. This is America, after all.
Can’t say I blame them, Americans.
When I pick up a bottle of wine to ease my anxiety, I fight the urge to smash it into the nearest wall.
Maybe that will make me feel young and heard, like the day we blocked intersections when we started bombing Iraq.
Mafia-esque politicians work for the rich and take wrecking balls to democratic institutions, easy targets.
In the hands of those underfoot, baseball bats smash Macy’s display windows, lighters light fires to cop cars.
Peaceful protestors arrested and tear gassed.
When I was a child the world crushed me in my bed.
What’s beyond the universe, why must animals suffer, why is there injustice and cruelty.
A middle aged woman now, I’ve found ways, for when I awake in the dark.
While hoping for relief of sleep, I plan steps into a hillside, design two bedroom floor plans, create song bridges, solve already solved problems of exterior wall ventilation, visit my ancestors, re-name birds.
Yesterday, on Blackout Tuesday, I rose early to draw plans for a house we may never build. All day I feverishly measured, erased, hunched over, forgetting to eat. I imagined a new building for our land, an answer to our dreams.
You know that old spiritual, Working on a Building? The singer is willing to give up any bad habits to become a better person and closer to God. “If I were a sinner, I’d tell you what I would do, I would quit my sinning and I’d work on a building too.”
That’s what I was thinking about this morning, before dawn.