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Over My Shoulder

I see how far we’ve come, and I see you coming to take the lead

I wrote this poem in preparation for our election-night coverage. I firmly believed then, as I do now, that we are in a struggle for freedom, equality, and our lives — no matter who is the president of our country. I will not despair, because I know you are out there.

Look at the clock and mark the hour

The minute

The second

You were called

To remember how far we've come

In this fight that's just begun.

How folks faced guns, and dogs, and ropes

For more freedoms than the right to vote

But we've still got cops

Who think traffic stops

Give them the right

To end someone's life.

Love was once hidden out of fear

Now more of us than ever are out, proud, and queer

But that does not guarantee

That any of us are free

From losing our families,

Jobs, homes, or the right to breathe

We slept on the needs

of trans people too long

Now we need to right that wrong

From bathrooms to classrooms

We've gotta stop transphobic goons

Who bully bodies for being

Beyond the binary

We should celebrate the extra-ordinary


Of a soul writing their own story

We need real family values to hold

And value families over border control

Honor the work of those who have come

To America's shores, because everyone

Is standing on stolen land

Where immigrants are exploited every day

But we could be the land of opportunity

And find ways to stand in unity

As we get ourselves and each other free

From the powers that be

Dividing you from me

Because of the lines left on maps by men

Who only wanted to own the world

A world that we will reclaim

From patriarchy, oil dependency,

And white supremacy

That have left a legacy

Which could have stolen your future.

But look at the clock and mark the hour

The minute

The second

You were called

To summon up your own power

Brought into this world by your ancestors

Driven by the promise of true justice

Forged by every survivor's scar and each lover's kiss

Sustained by you taking hold of your destiny

And letting go of the doomsday prophecies

Because you are here to greet the rising sun

And declare to the world, that the work is not done.

Remember: America did not change last night. It only took off its mask. You did not change last night; you were presented with a challenge. Now rise to it.