In Egypt

Someone slaps a man’s face hundreds of miles away

in Tunisia, and that’s all it takes

to light up the night, to spread the flames of protest,

in Egypt.

People – so many, many people – gather together,

in their version of Tiananmen Square, to ask of their leaders

a peaceful demand for the end of a despot’s regime,

in Egypt.

The world marvels. The world waits.

Then it begins. It always begins. Using tanks, guns and violence,

men on horses and camels, the government reveals its displeasure  

by brutishly ending a peaceful revolt marked by prayer and good will,

in Egypt.

Fire and smoke replace banners and signs, and a once-friendly army

turns on the crowds with its weapons and tear gas,

creating chaos where once there was none,

in Egypt.

Protestors fill Tahrir Square on this Day of Departure, chanting and shouting

as one that Mubarak must go, Mubarak must go,

so that they can have the freedom they so richly deserve,

in Egypt.

What’s so wrong about wanting – no, needing – the basics of life 

when none are easy to procure? Lower food prices, higher wages,

there’s no crime in the people demanding milk and honey,

in Egypt.

— copyright 2011 Elizabeth A. Maginnis.

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