Stop The Bombs International Peace Walk
Day 41 - This Line of Walkers
Poem by Angus Watkins

This Line of Walkers

Who will recall this line of walkers

that wound like a mardi gras serpent

up route fifteen one Spring

bearing banners that snapped

truths in the breeze, strolling to cadence

of drumbeats and buddhists' chanted prayers?

A small parade on a large journey

through five states, we strode, slow

yet steady against the rushing current

of traffic, time, and lesser pursuits.

Like some nervous and curious horses

that hurried and leaned to look

over fences, a ceaseless flood of truckers

and commuters tapped their brakes briefly,

leaning over their dashboards, stunned

at the nerve of this tiny processional.

As all the honkers and beepers or bleepers

made their offerings of digital signs-

thumbs up, thumbs down, middle fingers up-

shouting "Peace, baby!" or "Get a job, this is America!"

not to mention those who gripped steering wheels

with their gaze fixed rigidly straight ahead

as if to erase the peace we would spread,

I bent over a chickadee smashed by a car,

picked up the handful of feathers, stepping

out of line to pray for the life that was

and place it in tall grass beside the long road.

Where are you hurrying, for what

or whom and how many, with your life?

Angus Watkins
from Oak Ridge, Tennessee to the UN in New York City toward renewal of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, March 12 - May 1, 2005

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