Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Walking my Dog in Logan Park, DC  
the Day After the Women’s March

Jan Zlotnik Schmidt


Soggy. Doused with rain.  
My dog’s hair, matted, curled, like tiny snails. 
He sniffs the wet ground. Paws dead leaves and twigs. 
The rain soaks through my jacket.
I mop drops off my fogged glasses. 
Signs are flattened in the grass. Streaked
Words emerge out of the deluge. Dump Trump.
Humanity not Insanity. Love Trumps Hate. 
No Mandate. 
Messages rolled up, dumped in garbage cans
with newspapers, empty Heineken bottles, and pizza crusts.
The wind whips around me. Blows off my hood 
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. Bad Hombre.
Mud and sludge. Dark puddles pool around roots of trees.
I was there. Pink waves buoying me up. 
On the bus going a Latino man with a pussy hat
starts “America the Beautiful.”
All sing--brown, black, white, young and old.
men and women. The driver too.
Women’s Rights are Human Rights.
No left or right.  Just straight ahead.
Words bleed into the muddy earth.
Make America gracious again.
They ground me.
The dog shakes off the rain.

* * * * *

Jan Zlotnik Schmidt is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of English at SUNY New Paltz where she teaches composition, creative writing, American and Women’s Literature, creative nonfiction, memoir, and Holocaust literature courses.

Her work has been published in many journals including The Cream City Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Alaska Quarterly Review, Home Planet News, Phoebe, Black Buzzard Review, The Chiron Review, Memoir(and), The Westchester Review, and Wind.  Her work also has been nominated for the Pushcart Press Prize Series. She has had two volumes of poetry published by the Edwin Mellen Press (We Speak in Tongues, 1991; She had this memory, 2000).  Recently her chapbook, The Earth Was Still, was published by Finishing Line Press and another, Hieroglyphs of Father-Daughter Time, was published by Word Temple Press.