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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "What Didn't You Do"
Here is today's freebie, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "anticipation" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest.


"What Didn't You Do"


To be queer
is to be a target,

to live life
in anticipation of
pain and oppression.

What didn't you do to hurt me --
take away my peace of mind,
my privacy, my freedom, my job,
my health, my home, my family.

What didn't you do to kill me --
beat me down for wearing clothes
you didn't like, taking the wrong mate,
trying to use a public restroom.

What didn't you do to bury me
but you forgot that I was a seed.


You didn't realize that nature
made seeds with rich meat
protected inside a tough shell

that only sprouts when
the soil is warm and
the rain kisses life into it.

You didn't realize that seeds
are strong, that roots hold power,
that even pavement has cracks
for the green things to grow through.

You didn't realize that rain
brings with it the rainbows.

What didn't you do
to me, to yourself, to society
all unknowing

but it doesn't matter:
the rain is coming.

It's coming for you.
It's coming for me.
There will be rainbows.

What didn't you do to bury me
but you forgot that I was a seed.


* * *

Notes:

Dinos Christianopoulos is a homosexual Greek poet known for his seed poem.

Queer oppression has waxed and waned over time. In modern America, it involves a lot of violence, spurring people to resist. There are ways for youth and adults to fight homophobia.

Seeds have tough protective shell that releases when the ground becomes warm and wet.

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