Trouble Is Not Our Middle Name
(After Liz Lochead)
Trouble is not our middle name,
That is not who we are
- But we were born for this:
We were born to be the storm
To be the song that marches in every heart,
Where each footstep is a million strong.
We are the hope that takes to the public square,
We are the mob who holds your hand – can you
Listen, listen longer than today…?
Listen to what we do as well as what we say.
For we gave the first breath,
This much is true;
And we will give the next and last
And we will bleed for us as well as you.
It is hard to untangle this,
This politic of a weeping age
But I cannot tell you plainer, I cannot keep the quiet
Of unmarked graves for anyone – through all the wind
Real hope is there, on the streets outside your home,
Walking in the public square.
The Original, by Liz Lochead:
Trouble is not my middle name
Trouble is not my middle name.
It is not what I am.
I was not born for this.
Trouble is not a place
though I am in it deeper than the deepest wood
and I’d get out of it (who wouldn’t?) if I could.
Hope is what I do not have in hell –
not without good help, now. Could you
listen, listen hard and well
to what I cannot say except by what I do?
And when you say I do it for badness
this much is true:
I do it for badness done to me before
any badness that I do to you.
Hard to unfankle this.
But you can help me. Loosen
all these knots and really listen.
I cannot plainly tell you this, but, if you care,
then — beyond all harm and hurt
- real hope is there.