They can gawk.
They can mock.
They can swear,
and fail to understand.
They can fear.
They can demonize.
They can protect what they know.
They can try to keep their status quo,
with ignorance or denial.
They can rouse their forces,
weaponized beyond proportion.
They can spray the eyes or pull the hair
of mothers or daughters or elders,
who will no longer sit.
They can crack the heads of unarmed soldiers
who, for a decade risked their lives in far-off lands
to preserve the promise of days like these.
They can speak from two sides,
pretending they don’t betray the constitution,
or morality, or commonsense.
They can tear down tents, disperse crowds
and destroy property of a free people.
They can invoke the cry of safety
to trump any law.
They can herd the young and old like cattle,
or throw men over barricades,
like worn-out mattresses.
They can disinfect parks sullied by occupation,
but not the hearts of an educated nation.
They can say they'll fix the wrongs.
They can bargain for more time,
in hopes bygones will be forgot.
They will not.
They can try to silence what's already been heard.
They can try to obfuscate what's already been seen.
They can try to blame the odor on others,
like children who hide the stink.
They can try to ignore the taste of justice
that brews in cafés and cafeterias and classrooms
and the places where debate is still safe and welcome.
They can feel satisfied when streets are cleared
and they think things return to normal.
They can throw money at any problem,
because it is easier to find than good judgement.
They could find a cure in the sea of faces,
that hold the common man, woman and child,
doing uncommon things for the good of each other.
Then they, and me,
can again, be we.
And we, can overcome anything.