To The Front Line

by an anonymous contributor

This poem is dedicated to Garrett Foster and to his wife Whitney Mitchell, who has tirelessly fought for him since his death. On July 25, 2020, active duty US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry drove into a protest for Black Lives marching in downtown Austin, where he shot and killed Garrett Foster, a defender of Black Lives and servant of the people. On July 1, 2021, a Travis County grand jury indicted Perry for murder and aggravated assault. Perry was quickly released on bail and walks free.

The door
Right this way
The exit signs look the same
At the jail as they did at APD
At least to him

He went home, free
She, at the hospital
With the one she wasn’t allowed to see
She waited for hours 
Her head ringing from the screams

He’s flown to Alaska
She’s had to change where she sleeps
He’s been “fully cooperative”
She’s been thrown on the street 

With his car and his gun
He broke the frontline 
So why can he still hear
The sound of marching?

The door
Right this way
He looks for the exit
But now the signs say
“To the Frontline!”

Advancing, with her at the lead
The one who pushed her 
Still present in the movement
Driving her now

She remembers the big blue eyes
And the way they were drawn
To the frontline
And she cries out with conviction
The people rally around her

The production line
The line for food, for work
The protest line, the picket line -
They all converge at the frontline
Where he and she will meet