(Poem) What Happens When Hate Wins? by Sara Wright

What happens when Hate wins?

Do the Sandhill cranes stop singing?

Do the junipers cease to release their scent?

Do the stars fall into the sea?

Does the white moon weep??


I want to keep writing stories…


The wind still ruffles fine sand in the wash.

Cottontails leap, jumping through twilight.

Scaled quail still peep as they scurry over red ground.

The thrasher gobbles his suet without restraint.

A woodpecker taps at my window


I want to keep writing stories…


My heaped up heart aches with loss.

It’s not just a bloated misogynist’s win

It’s the loss of personal power and hope.

I keen for the women with wings –

women who support women

through difference, vowing

to meet on a common plain…


Where are the women with wings?

(And the men who support them)


I listen to the Sandhill cranes cry out

as one holy body in flight.

United in purpose

they know their destination

cannot be reached in isolation,

by splitting parts from the whole.

Birds know betrayal by name

and do not choose it.


Oh, where are the women with wings?


Scattered like seeds of wild grasses,

Keening, they journey alone.


Working notes

Grief: The problem with grief is that it isolates us from others, especially those whose anger turns outwards in blame, targeting one individual or perhaps a whole group. Those individuals or groups then become scapegoats for the rest of us who do not have to suffer having a hole ripped through our hearts.

Historically a scapegoat is called a “sin eater.” One person is cast out of the group and that person takes on the sin/burden for all – a chilling reminder of what humans are capable of doing to others. This devastating election has brought the sin-eater to life as HRC. Our country continues to blame this woman; now it’s because she lost. I am personally exhausted by the anti-Clinton rhetoric and would like us to begin to focus on how we are going to survive the treacherous new world we are entering – the one where the earth is trashed, where women have lost control of their bodies and their self-hood, a world where human decency and integrity is mocked and humiliated, a world in which lesbians and gays, other races and immigrants are under constant threat of attack.

Walking through the desert has been my greatest solace. The Sandhill cranes are migrating south. Their haunting collective cries comfort me, reminding me that for now, at least, the skies are still full of birds… I can give thanks for their songs.

Sandhill cranes are an ancient species, perhaps one of the oldest birds in the world, and they can be found from northern North America to Siberia. To see them in the sky and to listen to their calls reminds me that in Nature, at least, reciprocity in relationship is still commonplace.

Meet Mago Contributor Sara Wright.

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