by Teresa Leggard
Jan. 30, 2017
Now I wish I’d gone to the protest at the airport. Yes, I had to prepare for the week ahead, but so what? I don’t want to be afraid. I want to stand up—to speak up. I want to be on the side of the righteous. At the very least, I’ll take some time at the top of class to check in with my students—see how they’re doing; how they’re feeling . . .
Feb. 5, 2017
It isn’t until I turn off my car that I realize the following:
1.) This part of town is really white.
2.) I haven’t lifted my voice in protest, so publicly, since undergrad.
3.) Exercising your First Amendment right surrounded by like-minded folks is sort of like Fisher-Price My First Protest.
4.) No seriously, this town is hella white.
I pull into the church parking lot and my gut is doing flips. I made the mistake of reading some of the comments on the event page before leaving my house. There’s nothing openly hostile about the territory, but that doesn’t change the feeling. I’m on high alert. Can I spot anyone who knows me before exiting the car? How far is my car from the front door of the sanctuary? How quickly and easily can I escape? . . .
* * * *My gut is still flipping. I’d better drink this water. That cross is really big.
* * * *And this is nothing. I’m in a place of worship with peaceful people. This is nothing. No law enforcement, no riot gear, this is nothing. Yet, it doesn’t escape me that gunmen have walked into places of worship and taken lives. Temples have been vandalized, burned to the ground, bombed with four little girls inside. . . .
* * * *Why am I here? I am not thoroughly versed, well rehearsed, in the politics or even the latticed language of this executive order. I’ve probably read many of the same articles and headlines as everyone else, no more or less. For now, I’ll have to be motivated by the rationale that I would want someone to do it for me. I bet someone I know someone already has.
Feb. 8, 2017
On my way in this working, I saw a cop car. No big deal, right? Except it wasn’t a sedan, it was this imposing, big-bodied SUV. And it wasn’t local law enforcement, it was Homeland Security.
Teresa Leggard is a New York-born, Jersey-raised, Midwest transplant. She’s a writer, editor, poet, playwright, and recovering procrastinator. You can’t really find her online except for here and the occasional tweet at @LeggardTM, but if you’re in Kansas City she might be at The Writers Place(http://www.writersplace.org). One day she's determined to find out "Where Brooklyn at?"