I Now Declare This To Be An Unlawful Assembly
by Benjamin Walker
for Scott Olsen
An officer holding a megaphone calls it
before the half-light breaks over Oakland.
500 policemen pummel the camp awake
with batons, rubber bullets and tear gas.
We find video instantly, watch the sky torn
up with flash-bang bursts and hook-trails
of smoke descending on Snow Park.
We learn of the first protester to suffer
critical wounds. He served his tours in Iraq
without injury, shipped back in time for war
at home. It doesn’t matter what fractured
his skull. Beyond rage, beyond our fear
that with night comes a matching crackdown,
it’s another martyr we dread at McPherson Square.
Benjamin Walker is an MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. His poems recently appeared in PANK, SOFTBLOW, Orange Quarterly and other journals. New work is forthcoming in Mobius: the Journal of Social Change.