Thursday, March 26, 2015

SOLC 2015 Day 26: How far we've come

More thoughts from the school board meeting held on Tuesday evening...

The white-haired-but-not-elderly-seeming
man was called forward
dark of skin, bright of eye
recognized for being the first
in that skin, to cross that threshold
in our district, fifty years ago.

He spoke eloquently, gratefully
of how his transition was
so much easier, less negative
than similar stories of the day,
his speech received with a standing ovation
nods of agreement--we've come so far.

That audience gone, 
a blond-haired-lanky-and-nervous-seeming
teenage boy brushed the hair from his face
as he approached the podium
to speak on behalf of his group,
marginalized students
defined by five letters
fortunate to have a club to call their own.

In a voice first shaky and small, then
growing louder and more sure
he spoke of their need for acknowledgement
the practice of one day of silence
to bring attention to the 
micro- and blatant acts of aggression
that darken their spirits and dampen their light
(not to mention their grades, and sometimes, their lives).

One day each year, because for them,
we have not come far at all.


  1. I'm having a sad morning, but this also hit me hard. It can be such a struggle all the time for so many people Thank you for sharing. I love how you wrote this, your use of poetry was perfect.

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry the day is starting off gloomy for you! I was just thinking that I need to hit a lighter topic tomorrow. My original thought for this piece was a three-act prose, since the topic was actually broached (in different ways) by three different speakers that evening--but it was a bit too political/legal-related for a pre-dawn post.

  2. What a nice contrast you provided here- coming far and far to go. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you, Ms. Victor! I was lucky to be provided those examples in one meeting; couldn't help but notice the contrast.

  3. I too appreciated the thoughtful way in which you approached these topics. This is an important conversation, and poetry can be a powerful way to contribute to it.

    1. Thank you, Ms. Ewing! It is such an important topic, and I was proud of the young man for standing in front of the board and stating his case.