Inherited resistance

Day 117

In memory of my great grandmother Elizabeth, my grandmother Ludmilla, and all the revolutionary ancestors who laid the groundwork, fought ferociously, and dedicated their lives to building a better world. Thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Love, Tashka

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

If you could never see the sun again, would you remember what it looked like?

Would you remember the way the golden rays warmed your skin

the scent of it

tangled in your hair?

If you never heard the bird calls again,

Could you remember their sweet songs

and sing them at dawn?

The sparrow, the thrush, the cardinal, the wren,

happy to welcome the day.

If you never again saw the first flowers of spring

could you remember their scent,

soft and delicate, dancing on the wind?

Nettles, Hyacinth, violet, and rose,

spicy, salty, warm, and sweet.

I’ve never drunk fresh, clean water out of the local creek,

but I know I should be able to do so,

each thirsty cell crying out

“no, no, no, this is wrong,

there should be endless pools of clean water to drink.”

I’ve never known air without pollution,

toxic chemicals filling my lungs with each breath,

but I know that is wrong,

that’s insane

there must be some mistake,

the air should be pure, life giving,


I’ve never known a world without plastic, without

tiny particles of blue and green and yellow and red

filling the bellies of fish and whales.

Choking rainbows of primary colors.

But I know there was one once,

a way of life

that did not promote death,


and pain.

I can remember things I never had a chance to know.

I mourn for things I cannot name,

I am broken by loss

born into it,

the sins of the father’s and all that.

I didn’t ask for this,

this terrible weight of the failure of generations past,

their poisonous greed and dangerous addictions,

to oil, to money, to power.

They swallowed up my world before I had a chance to live in it.

And I’m angry.

I’m really fucking mad to be put in this position,

watching the world die,

because of others’ bad decisions.

So here we are, picking up the pieces.

And sometimes it’s just so frustrating,

like banging your head against the biggest wall.

But at the same time,

I’m thanking all our ancestors,

who fought this beast

with all their might.

Who lived and died

within the culture of rebellion,

and laid the groundwork,

for what must be done now.

I’m thinking of them tonight,

and I promise them

we will make their struggle worth it,

that all their hard work will pay off,

that we will work

until we bring this monster to its knees.

Or die trying,

becoming ancestors ourselves.

Inherited resistance, that’s what this is.

Built into our spiral strands of DNA,

just waiting to be awakened.


buried in our bones,

and blood.




Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen


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