Neglect

Oil glistens
contaminates
drinking water
250 evacuated

25 years of
boil-water advisory
an elder recites
and now this

We’re not animals,
adolescents rally
but ears turn away
government wheels rust

Neskantaga First Nation
want to go home
to live with dignity
know their human rights

Do they know
a .05% increase
in corporate taxes
would suffice

For the 73%
of First Nations
also lacking
this basic need

Acknowledge
prioritize
address
It’s all they ask.

(Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #168. Image and information sourced from :
ctvnews.ca
and Government of Canada: https://canadians.org/fn-water)

Day 247 “Multiple Perspectives”

Anti-establishment
and flower-power
formed the background of my youth.
Women burning their bras,
Hippies holding sit-ins,
War in Vietnam.

Beatles and Rolling Stones
were household names,
and school children took
the Pepsi vs Coke challenge.
Twiggy and Mary Quaint
and Piccadilly Circus
set the fashion stage.

A flower-toting leader
dating well below his years,
wooed his lovers and his nation
with a french accent
and a sense for current trends,
and called in the army when
the FLQ threatened peace.

My school was open-concept
and learning free-style.
We had a Wong and a Suzuki,
and watched the Black Panthers
uprising in the South
and learned we were WASPS.

Homosexuality was debated hotly-
criminal or mental instability –
and transgender was not even a word.
While the world around us struggled
with equality and human rights
my family hid behind our walls
while my father dressed in drag.

Times have changed,
and perspectives altered
and sexes can now marry same.
There is sexual orientation
and gender identity,
male and female polarities de-mythed.

Human rights
on the forefront
of law-making and policies.
Universal Design for Learning
stressing accessibility.

How I wish you could see it, father,
from your resting place.
This world of ours is changing
and what was once disgrace
will someday be commonplace.

Inspired by: “Transgender Dysmorphia Blues” Against Me!

Cycle of Life

Helpless and alone,
a young figure unconsciously
rubs her swelling belly,
hopelessly feeling the tremor within her begin.

Shunned for her sin,
impoverished of mind and body,
she falters, unable to speak
paralyzed with uncertainty for a future already tainted.

Society turns its back,
on the plight of the unwed mother,
revulsed by all she represents,
paralyzed by their own ineptitude in the face of inequity.

Uninhibited the baby arrives,
announcing her birth with a scratchy cry,
filling her lungs with hope and anticipation,
trusting that life will embrace and provide.

She does not know,
in her stark nakedness,
that she is born into tragedy –
fated for a life of hardship and misunderstandings.