Annika Reff

May 20, 2002

2 - liberté guidant le peuple, eugène delacroix

Look around you, now.

Scarlet streams from our comrades, collecting at our feet in a swelling puddle.
Pale smoke from the flying bullets forms fog, smothering.
A last breath, a whistle of sorts, floats by, reminding me why the men around me did not die in vain.

The pale sky and a faint light peak through the mist, like Jupiter into Danae’s box, filling the pain of loss with possibility.

We, the people, will decide our own fate,
with our own bruised hands.

With the purple robes, golden crowns, and linen gloves removed,
we are stripped down to our socks.

Only the tricolor flag clothes us, now.

We, the people, have spoken. And the people now look to me.

Do not idolize me as a harbinger of freedom, but rather, remember me as a protector of the Republic.
Now is the time for action, the time to turn our revolutionary notions into reality.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

It is time to hear the voices of those long silenced, suppressed by the castle that has now fallen.

Listen, now.

Hear the nightingales cry, raise your guns to the sky, and remember:
We will not let France die.
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