Leave Now

This poem was written for the Poetic Asides Wednesday prompt to write a poem involving a large crowd. It was written on July 9, 2008.

Tonight (June 10, 2013) the Oak Park Photo Club had a presentation of a video and about and pictures taken by Vivian Maier. The presenter stated Vivian had taken so many pictures over several decades that she created a documentary of her times. It occurred to me that poets do the same thing. We write little snippets of daily life and our reactions to the events, people, and places we experience.

This poem stood out in my mind. It is based upon my reaction to the “peace march” in 1968 during the Democratic Convention. Most of the poem is in refrains, which helps to give a feel for what happened that day when I was downtown for another reason entirely.

Leave Now

I saw them a couple of blocks away.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

There were rows and rows of them.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

They strode purposely ahead.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

There were more than I could count.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

Their voices were clear to me.
Peace Now
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

They were loud enough to hear:
Peace Now
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

Their attitude did not seem peaceful to me.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.
Peace Now.

My mind ordered me to:
Leave Now.
Leave Now.
Leave Now.

So I did.

Sheryl Kay Oder

4 thoughts on “Leave Now

  1. I don’t know, Sharon.

    I had just dropped my mother off at the Greyhound station. She had visited before she moved here that year; she was returning home. The crowd was a few blocks away from me, and they seemed to be coming fast. I was one person, they (including you?) were many, and they were loud. They sounded angry to me. Picture yourself seeing such a crowd coming at you, and you will understand a bit more how I reacted as I did. I have never been a war protester either.

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