Cranes in the Sky

buffalo water front
July 31, 2014
Zakiya Williams Wells

We spend all this time,
Wondering who exactly is they
Who exactly am I

Resisting arbitrary power
Believing we’ll win if we try

Smiling at all these Cranes in the Sky
Living in a fallen city
Hoping all boats will still rise

Seeing collaboration as power to uncover the lies
We have the privilege to strive
To ensure that our fellow man can still thrive

So we stay here, play here, work here

Because we want to end the fear

Spread the information
So our message is clear

Someone once told me about the golden rule
That you should do unto others
As you would have them do unto you
But I’ve also learned those with the gold make the rules

Those with the gold don’t realize that it isn’t resources that give them power

The ones with the all the control

Are all of those who can’t live in a tower

Yet, their voices go unheard
While the fact of their impoverishment, their enslavement
Becomes increasingly absurd

It’s their fault they don’t succeed
They aren’t smart enough to know what to do

The lazy are many while the hardworking are few

Creating more mouths to feed
More sheep for the slaughter
With no shepherd to lead
Never considering that enough frightened sheep
Can still stampede

Can demand their right to be human
Their right to be free

So we riot, we rally
We yell, fight, and scream
To reframe the narrative

To achieve what seems like a fantastical dream

Just to prove this isn’t some nefarious scheme

To rob anyone of their will
But to ensure everyone has a fighting shot, even still

His name was Angel
And he had no idea
That he had been robbed of
A thousand dollars in back wages
While on the job

He really wasn’t going to do anything about it

He would have, let it slide

But, he could have used a thousand dollars
Maybe to help put the world on his side

Angel is not alone
In getting robbed blind
By indifferent employers
With no qualms committing such a crime

That’s why we’re here
At least in theory
To help keep these people in check
To remind them that their workers matter
Even if they might look like a dreg

We must co-operate
To fight our invisible oppressors

We must show solidarity
To stop our violent aggressors

We must declare that we will no longer be slaves
That we want participate in this unequal trade

We know our worth

We know our struggle
We know our pain

We know our capacity

our power,

We know our names

This story of revival and triumph
Isn’t just about cranes in the sky
It’s about believing in our humanity
And it will begin with