Rise Up


You think you don't have anything
to say, that it's been said before
that it doesn't matter, that you'll get mocked
or ridiculed, that someone won't like it -- that it
is not good enough. That you
are not good enough. You think
you're too young, too old, too tired,
too broken. You hide
scared-silent behind
your too much, your not enough.

You let littleness win.

Meanwhile -- another war
on something begins. Bombs
explode. A child loses her mother
a mother loses her child. Teachers hide
children in closets to save their lives. Killers kill
in the name of "God," in the name of mine
in the name of not enough. Division
division division.

Mommy, I don't understand

I thought God meant love
in every language
in every religion

Blood soaked shirts
the searing burn
of judgment.

Dear Child,

Listen. Rise from the tight walls of your troubled thinking.

Take your message of love,
of gentleness, of unity, and, please --
please speak it.
Write it, paint it, dance it
sing it. Look up and smile

when another walks by. Toss love
around with wild abandon. Listen
to trees, sky -- tomatoes that grow ripe
and red and brave and beautiful
out of the burn pile. Rise up.

Stop letting littleness win.

That nod of gentleness, of --
could mean everything. It could
mean one less bomb, one less
war, one less mother
or child or country
on their knees.

Dear Child,

Put your weapons down.
Love fiercely.
Rise up -- please.

depends on it.

* Julia's home on the web is
* Photography by Christa Gallopoulos

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