The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Westboro Baptist Fail

By Florence Ripley Mastin

The gray path glided before me
Through cool, green shadows;
Little leaves hung in the soft air
Like drowsy moths;
A group of dark trees, gravely conferring,
Made me conscious of the gaucherie of sound;
Farther on, a slim lilac
Drew me down to her on the warm grass.
“How sweet is peace!”
My serene heart said.

Then, suddenly, in a curve of the road,
Red tulips!
A bright battalion, swaying,
They marched with fluttering flags,
And gay fifes playing!

A swift flame leapt in my heart;
I burned with passion;
I was tainted with cruelty;
I wanted to march in the wind,
To tear the silence with gay music,
And to slash the sober green
Until it sobbed and bled.

The tulips have found me out.


I had quite a nice Tuesday despite spending more than an hour of it standing in the rain, since I was among friends in a happy, uplifting crowd. The hatemongers from Westboro Baptist Church had announced plans to protest at my high school -- the same high school from which Adam graduated 30 years after I did -- because the school has a LGBT student group, and though the principal had requested that there not be a counter-protest for a variety of safety-related reasons, a bunch of parents agreed that we should at least show solidarity with the LGBT kids. We knew the county police would be there so we knew it would be safe for everyone.

So I parked several blocks away, which is necessary during school hours due to parking restrictions, and walked to the school, bumping into several other parents I knew including the mother of one of Adam's high school friends on the way. Once I arrived, I ran into the Hermans, my parents' good friends whom I've known since I was a baby, so I got the added pleasure of getting to catch up with them while people were arriving, blasting Madonna and Sara Bareilles and waving signs (though given the weather, I opted for a rainbow tie-dye skirt and rainbow umbrella). There were a couple hundred of us; there were fewer than five from WBC!


The rest of the day was not nearly as interesting, though Paul was working from home so at least I got to see him. I did work, did chores, folded laundry while catching up on Once Upon a Time, and eventually had dinner, before which we watched this week's Flash (so glad Harrison isn't dead in all universes), Agents of SHIELD (I knew they'd do that to May, and oh, come on, Coulson, ICK!), and Limitless (better every week, especially the women characters). We are sad because our neighbor's cat, whom she's had since our kids were small, has died...but tomorrow we may be getting back Heather's rescue kittens!

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