“The Low Road” by Marge Piercy

What can they do / to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can / bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can / burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you / can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up / your lover. They can do anything
you can’t blame them / from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight, / you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can / but they roll over you.

But two people fighting / back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file / can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other / sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex. / Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four / you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six / you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no / seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration. / A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper; / a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time, / it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do / it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We / and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.


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