POETRY
To Take a Knee
Ally Malinenko
Writer of the Month

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

To take a knee through history
takes bravery.
To stay down
when they came with the whips.
To stay down
when they came with those laws.
To stay down
when they came with this president.
 
To take a knee is to show
your humanity
even if those yelling
cannot
will not
see it.
 
To take a knee
when they come
with their bullhorns
and their screaming
to stay balanced
and poised
like that
 
To wait for it.
To know you built it
with your blood
and you deserve it.
 
To wait.
To keep waiting.
To die waiting.


Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry books The Wanting Bone, How To Be An American and Better Luck Next Year as well as the novel This Is Sarah.