Day Two of the Riots

Rebecca Ramsden

In the space between day and dark…

This is what Minnesotans would call a perfect spring day.
Verdant—cool breeze, warm sun, before the bugs descend.

[Insert]  Helicopters overhead—medical transport, news agents, national guard crisscross the sky.

My friend has a brief break from hospital duties to social distance at my picnic table.

[Insert]  Sirens punctuate with proximity.

We know the sound of urgency, how it’s growing. We are familiar with the suffering, the calls for help.

[Insert]  Buzz Alert rattles her phone. All freeways into the city are closing in less than one hour.

We are in the synapse, neurotransmitters responding. She must get to her destination.
We must find the calm that creates space to heal in this calamity.

[Insert]  Unsettled haze of burnt buildings. Shattered glass, pharmacies looted, rioters steal more than the demonstrator’s limelight.

Thirty minutes before ordered curfew to be off the street, sidewalks, public spaces by eight o’clock PM, I walk to the neighborhood field. Here a young girl rides a bike down the grassy hill until fear overcomes and she tumbles onto the soft turf.  Giggling she continues to roll over and over, like she has fallen into the arms of the great earth mother.

[Insert]  A Black Hawk flies just above the power lines. Drab green, unmistakable color of combat. Massive blades, fast, loud, the whir of war.

Closing my eyes, I return to my three year old self, lying in the tall grass of unknown suffering, looking up at the open sky, the place for birds and dragonflies, before I could see ominous in the clouds, before I began to hold the world’s wounds clenched in my jaw.


About Rebecca Ramsden
Rebecca, a retired Registered Nurse, is the guts behind Poets Chair, graffiti for social media posting while traveling. She goes to the wilds to soothe the mind and open the heart to what is consistently stable. Being surrounded by nature, she feels safer to traverse the shadows and fears, to let the demons have their say. Rebecca’s poems have been published in Martin Lake Journal, Please See Me, several volumes of Talking Stick and as winner of the Creekside Poetry contest.


Day Two of the Riots Copyright © 2021 by Rebecca Ramsden. All Rights Reserved.

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