i went to a peaceful protest…

This is Elyse Soleil. Her work and poetry are exquisite. Read them all. But most of all, read this piece and do what she asks.

House of Soleil

Over the weekend, Facebook notified me of a Black Lives Matter protest taking place in Kirksville. I was shocked. This Kirksville? This Kirksville with the confederate flags and xenophobic posters? This Kirksville with the poorly handled hate crimes and microaggressions? This Kirksville?

I looked at the organizers. Two White kids that I knew, but only in the way that you sort of can recognize everyone in Kirksville. There was an emphasis on how the event needed to be peaceful. That rubbed me the wrong way.

I didn’t want to go. But I felt like I had to.

As I was getting ready, my best friend, who resides on the East Coast, texted me. Going to protest. If I haven’t contacted you by 10 check on me.

I texted her back: Same. One of us needs to make it home.

I didn’t have a sign. I didn’t feel like I needed…

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