By Jessica Alberg
There is the sound
of snapping sticks.
Ridged backbones of branch
broken, cut, cracked.
It is the idea that hands
can destroy an individual
but if one were to gather sticks
into a bundle it would be impossible
to snap them all at once.
So how does one destroy a movement?
Simply take into your hands
an individual man, and kill him.
It will be a simple, thoughtless gesture.
Then take all the other men and women,
show them that you killed the man.
Tell them you did. It is necessary then,
that you take the bundle of them
and untie the knot of string.
It is easy to do—
teach them differences in death: value, authority, safety.
Tell them you understand these things and they do not.
If I was the farmer,
and I stood before my sons who bickered and fought
I would not simply take the sticks and show them
that there is strength in unity.
I would show them too,
who unties the knots.
That deep within them,
is something that tries to separate us all.
The fear of being the one without value.
Our value is in what we gather and share.
So I would recommend gathering the sticks.