Meditation and riff following a close reading of “Let Them Not Say” by Jane Hirshfield.
Let them not say: He did not try.
Let them not say: He did not hear.
Let them not say: He did not fight.
He fought through noise until he could not hear noise
he could not unhear.
Let them not say: He did not speak up.
He spoke with calloused voice, hoarse finger tips.
Let them not say: He gave up.
He gave a grave — emptiness.
If they must, let them say:
An incendiary civility.
Let them say meteors
no less than mountains
Wrapped in static a world away
he bore witness to this white noise nation.