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Bennett Sisters React to Rosa Parks's Stance

- We press our ears against the floor model radio.
I probe the knobs like a madwoman.

Just before news of Rosa breaks, our fingers labor at minuscule tasks:
inking pens, creasing papers, rubber stamping envelopes.

The message of Rosa's defiance—from a voice like a cymbal—shatters wind, sends odometer needles flying.

The broadcast unleashes our tongues
with thunderclaps of words. For once, we doff our hats,

ignore prim and prying looks of dons and deans
trolling our student union halls.

We wipe our hands on our starched, pleated dresses,
toss formality out rectangular windows.

I gawk as Glenda, blood sister,
bares flesh just above her knees.

We cross the campus, wielding megaphones,
drill Rosa's story into each brick building.

We strike our bell a thousand times,
immerse ourselves in sunlight, stand guard

over the quadrangle, pose before magnolias and oaks.
Our breath hovers over Dan River.

first appeared in Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2016