Submitted Date 01/27/2019

Fight the Power!
FIght the Power!
Fight the Power!

...and they tell me to "Fight the Power!"
but I can't justify another war
so I kiss the Power on the forehead
because maybe no one's tried that one before

...and they tell me to "Fight the Power!"
but I've always had weak wrists
so I do one better than this
I teach the Power's kids

just the basics

In Math,
I teach them A = B
Ahmad = Betty
Carlito = Gertrude
Esteban = Mpholokeng

I replace their numerals with hard-to-pronounce names
so they learn that equality doesn't mean both sides look and sound the same

In Science,
I teach gentrification of our species and deforestation of our grounds
I tape all their lessons to the bottom of globes
so they can see how we're turning our world upside down

In History,
I teach them to Fight the Power!
Fight the Power!
Fight the Power!
FIght the Power!

In Literature,
I teach them that freedom of speech beckons
that when they open their mouths they'll have something liberating to say

so we start with freedom of listening

and we start with freedom of questions
and I have them write questions
and flip through library books for their answers
until they're weak in the wrists

too weak to make fists

Related Stories


Please login to post comments on this story

  • Tanya Marion 7 months, 3 weeks ago

    This. Is. Powerful. It reminds me of the phrase found on the University of South Carolina school seal. Emollit Mores Nec Sinit Esse Feros - Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel. Amazing poem, Andrea.

  • David Ross Washington Jr 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    I absolutely love the photo you used to symbolize this piece. So powerful in itself.

  • David Ross Washington Jr 7 months, 2 weeks ago

    I love this. I feel like reading this I was doing a poetry slam, and the audience was just living off of every word.

  • Mary Jaimes-Serrano 7 months ago

    Andrea, this is such a powerful message. I think words are the strongest weapon there is and that education is the mightiest shield. Thank you for sharing. I hope this message circles the globe. This is absolutely wonderful.

  • Miranda Fotia 6 months ago

    I am all for the so-called "indoctrination" of our youth in order to create a better future! Keep at it! Change is desperately needed. Fight the power!