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My Daughter Spoke of the Resistance
Abby Caplin


Last week I hopped in the car
with my daughter and we drove to Four Corners, 
got a blessing from a medicine woman who decorated
our Civic in peace paint and sent us
packing to the border, where we picked up a traveler
from one of the First Nations of Mexico
who burned sage in the backseat to cover our tracks. 
We made it to Taos, where we lathered
ourselves in sunlight, bought some pottery
and packed it in yesterday’s newspaper filled
with insults and we all broke down
by the side of the road. 

My daughter spoke of the resistance
and I asked which one, maybe
she was talking about Nicaragua
when I wet twenty-two-cent stamps
with a sponge, pressed them onto envelopes
to stop the government from killing Sandinistas. 
She said, No, it’s the Resistance! I don’t know
anything about the Sandinistas.

We drove to Washington, DC, waving
our hands through the sage haze so we could
see the road, stretched our legs at the Museum of Tolerance
looking for whales. But they were beached
on the bleached coral off Australia, 
and we couldn’t see them even as we searched
later through binoculars from the Staten Island ferry. 

We squished through the mud of Manhattan
cramming potato knishes into our mouths.
People, the living and the dead, avoided us
because we smelled like creosote
from the Sonoran Desert. 

Everywhere we went we asked, 
Where do we find the Resistance?

Unhelpful locals kept pointing us further
down Fifth Avenue to where the cafes
in the Village were closed for lunch.
So we went to Wall Street, where I taught
a chorus of sparrows how to tweet
“Banks of Marble,”
and with the quarters we collected
from pitying passersby,

we called up Robert Reich
but he’d left a voice mail saying he was out, 
looking for us. 

Abby Caplin’s poems have appeared in Alyss, The Binnacle, Burningword, Common Ground Review, Crack the Spine, The Healing Muse, McNeese, Poetica, The Round, TSR: The Southampton Review, Tikkun, and Willow Review, among others. Her poem “Still Arguing with Old Synagogue” was a finalist for the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award, and she is an award recipient of the San Francisco Poets Eleven 2016. She is a physician and practices Mind-Body medicine in San Francisco.