Legacy (Wick Poetry May 4 National Call)

You know the photo: the one of 

the young woman with a scarf & 

dark hair, crouching over what 

used to be a student.

screaming why

hands plunging into the low atmosphere

as if she can grab her god’s shoulders &

shake him for letting this happen.

But you don’t know the man in plaid

over her left shoulder. You don’t know

his class had been dismissed early to

participate in democracy. He is too far

away & indistinct for you to see the

thick glasses, the mustache he still 

wears fifty years later. You don’t know 

that a decade after the National Guard 

almost shot him, too, he would become 

my father. Daffodils remain silent, but 

not complicit: they’re still suffering shock. 

Flowers planted in gun barrels, tear gas 

tossed back at uniforms. Shoots 

of yellow flowers from my baptism 

poke through early May soil.