What makes a Rebel?
Minute by minute,
tip toeing towards change.
Conscience nudged forward
by a father on strike.
Scrambled eggs again for tea.
to a dead eyed glance
from the cardboard elegance
on Glasgow’s mean streets.
Pause for five minutes.
Share a word, a smile
with those who wait for the day
when someone recognises them
as a son, a daughter.
Age twenty one.
Step over the unbound lepers
on the streets of Addis Ababa.
Wounds soothed at night
as hyenas scavenge outside.
Dawn chorus of the abandoned and orphaned
from their cardboard nest in the bus shelter.
Chirp for food to ease swollen bellies.
One brave soul sneaks his hand into mine.
Another asks about faraway lands.
The silent one holds onto my dress.
Ethiopian youth meetings
on hot Wednesday afternoons.
Sixty minutes to spread hatred.
Forgot to hide.
Dragged by the hair, by ignorance,
by those I had taught in the morning.
Marched in anger, sister to sister
when America built Faslane.
Screamed louder when submarines
slipped into the Holy Loch.
Camped for thirty one years.
Still they furrow their way down the loch.
Raise a banner in Dam square.
Shout my anger at the arrogance
of a president treading an unholy path
trees dressed in yellow ribbons,
coffins decorated by stars and stripes,
widows bathed in black.
Told to fold the banner.
Told to toe the line.
Told my children will know hunger.
Told our fate lies in cardboard city.
Raise my voice louder.
Raise my head and sing.
Raise my children to know of those who cannot.
Raise awareness of how we can be the change.