For Fear of Being Called

For Fear of Being Called

In Peru a demonstration
against a rise in bread prices
is stopped
because of threats to denounce
those who demand bread
as terrorists.

How greatly we fear language
an electric cattle prod
to drive us into corners
where we cower
for fear of being called
terrorists or communists or criminals.

How did we allow those who don’t give
a damn about how we
the 80% live or die
to rob us of our language
to intimidate us into cutting out
our tongues
and binding our limbs into lameness?

How can we be more afraid
to be called terrorists
than to die in the dark
with no one there to speak for us?

– Marilyn Buck

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