by Anna Webster

Clear the streets, they said.

Give us back our jobs, we said.

Get off our grass, they said.

Talk to us, we said.

Turn on the sprinklers, they said.

Redirect the water, we said.

Bring out the noise, they said.

Sing together, sing loudly, we said.

You must leave, they said.

We just want to talk, we said.

You’re a river of filth, they said.

Peace and love, we said.

Our students can’t get into Uni, they said.

Our students can’t even enroll, we said.

The workers can’t get into work, they said.

We wish we could work, we said.

You’re stopping businesses from opening, they said.

Mandates sank our businesses, we said.

You are smelly and unclean, they said.

We’ll bring in showers, we said.

You can’t have showers here, they said.

But sanitation is a human right, we said.

You’re not wanted here, they said.

That’s not the point, we said.

You’ve made your point, they said.

We didn’t come to make a point, we said.

You’ve disrupted our city, they said.

You’ve disrupted our lives, we said.

Go home, they said.

Mandates mean we don’t have homes, we said.

Then we’ll force you out, they said.

We just wanted to talk, we said.

Your message is so unclear, they said.

No more mandates, we said. No more mandates, we pleaded. No more mandates.