****Today there was a general strike in Puerto Rico. More than 250,000 people participated and supported the strike, which is about 1/8 of the total population; major expressways were blocked by protestors; the largest mall in the caribbean, La Plaza de las Americas, was boarded up yesterday and closed today due to the gathering nearby planned by the strike-supporters; fishermen in Vieques docked boats out into the sea, forming a wall, keeping boats from entering or exiting the island; spraypaint artists created works of popular education, short phrases for the people to read and think about; strike supporters broke onto grounds where they climbed to places banners and the Puerto Rican flag could hang for all to see; university students supported the strike in the thousands, marching on San Juan, making clear they want changes in the University Of Puerto Rico college system; mass meetings were held; Viejo/Old San Juan was left deserted from the amount of strike supporters; and 50-100 people rallied in Manhattan, New York in support, throwing eggs at a poster of the current Puerto Rican governor, who ordered the firing of over 20,000 workers in the past few months, and thousands more to come according to recent statements/government plans, all of which are the reasons for today’s strike. This poem is not about that. However, the main question (the title) of this poem still needs to be answered for the situation in Puerto Rico. Did today’s strike help the people? If it didn’t, what next? If it did, what next?… What Next?… And is it worth risking the things that might happen in the points between here and there?****
Why do people empathize?
How does one sympathize?
What words are the best
To lessen a friend’s stress?
Why do we use empty expressions
Trying to force positive impressions?
What is the key to helping others cope?
How can we heal without a disrespectful joke?
Is there a best way of thinking?
Is there a best way of living?
And how can empty words mean anything
If they are out of touch with everything?
What else do words provide
Besides new ideas to try?
Aren’t words inspiration for change
Rather than an instant cure for personal pain?
Do we listen to what others have suggested
And apply it to our personal perspective?
The points between here and there
Are not always easy to bear
Though it may not seem people care
But what am I to do?
Or think it through?