friday 28 march 02003 8:55am
san francisco federal building, wartime, interfaith gathering for prayer and nonviolent civil disobedience

witness

on one side of a barrier, i stood singing
for the first time in my life
"we shall overcome"
in support of those on the other side
who were being
or had been arrested.

there, an elderly woman
with her hands cuffed behind her
said to an elderly woman beside her
whose hands were cuffed before her
so that she could hold her walker
"i have a handkerchief in my pocket
and my nose is running."
and as they waited to be taken away
they wriggled together
until the handkerchief was held
and the one wiped the nose of the other.