Poem: Who Cares?


Look around

among the desks and papers

where crayons fall upon the floor

to see our little babies

asking for so much more

Look up at that building

where laws and  freedom rings

and see the crumbling institution

where instead ego blindness sings

Turn towards the forests

so rich with birds and trees

and hear the sounds of engines

while watching animals flee

Stand by the ocean

so vast and so blue

instead it’s filled with garbage

and the whales now say adieu

Stand across from a stranger

whose color is not yours

no longer love thy neighbor

instead we abhor

Watch those who love the same

in happiness and joy

and remember not equality

rather marriages to destroy

So in the end

who really cares?

because a critical time is coming

where witnesses must bare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poem: 1956


Forbidden love

is tossed back

into the arms of the hand

the throw of the gamble

that most fear to play

Yet

under cover

‘neath the sweaty dark

of the hidden night

in the pulsing fury

of times angry divide

A union

of color

entangled together

through tension and tender

White wanting in concealed desire

wrapped in Black brave

Heart marches

toward an outlawed end

Bound

Round

Babe

Racial

Bye

Given gone away

to spare the agony

of blasphemous belonging

Two

split to wander separate worlds

One

drowning in the blood

of both

Saving Me


Many years ago I did something that most think was to help someone else, but it was really to help me. It was actually not a selfless move to save a part of the world, but to save a part of me.

The journey began when I decided I wanted to adopt a baby. I am adopted as some of you may recall. It was not an easy journey, as I had criteria that made constraints that other people adopting might not have through their paths. It was my goal to stay within the US and to maintain birth order (my husband at the time and I had a 3-year-old), so when approaching an adoption agency, they showed us the ‘blue book’ of the “waiting children”–it appeared as though this might be impossible. Either we would have to take on siblings of 4 or teenagers. Neither of these situations seemed fair to my daughter.

But then the social worker mentioned foster care: the backdoor to adoption. At that time, 51% of foster children got adopted by their foster parents. It seemed like a reasonable plan to me, especially since I was a stay at home Mom anyway.

I won’t go through it all, because this is not what this post is about. Suffice to say, we became foster parents, eventually to a 2-year-old girl: mentally challenged, but high functioning, emotionally rocked by her first 2 years and HIV positive.

That toddler is now my 25-year-old daughter and she just had my first grandchild today–a little boy.

It has been a rocky road all along. My 3-year-old (now almost 28) has had a rough relationship with her, which has worsened as an adult. The birth daughter that came after her, has a distant, but OK relationship. And this daughter’s life has been one challenge after another. While her health is way better than anyone would have predicted (they figured she wouldn’t live past 9 years old), she has met with prejudice, job losses, school bullies and lots of tears.

She has been with her partner for many years, a young man who is also mentally challenged, more so than she. When she announced her pregnancy, we were all pretty upset. They are poor, with no jobs, living in abject poverty. While we help, there is only so much you can help those who often do not believe they need it.There was great concern for the welfare of a baby coming into these circumstances.

But she was determined, and her determination has always been one of her greatest (and sometimes most frustrating) attributes.
So today he was born. The doctors have taken every precaution, and so has she, that this baby be born HIV free. My daughter has tried very hard to take care of herself and many around her have been helping to get her hooked up with the proper services so there will be the best possible outcome down the road.

It is so easy to be negative, but success can’t happen unless we believe it is possible. Sometimes I think that she never thought much about her HIV and just figured she would live a normal life, so she has. And I understand her desire for baby, someone who belongs to her through genes, looks like her and comes from her. I get it when no-one else in my family may understand this–because we both have that connection, that mutual disconnect from our birth heritage.

So on this day, I will celebrate her decision and her new baby, my grand-baby. Because her adoption wasn’t about fixing her, it was to rescue a part of me.

Choices


How does one tip toe around their disapproval of someone’s choice in something they feel is unwise, or even potentially harmful–especially if it’s someone they love? It is so easy to come crashing into this person with all your advice, or even anger when wisdom may have shown you that the other person’s decision to do something most likely will have a negative outcome.

It could be because you know this person, and have for years: maybe it’s a family member and you’ve seen them make unwise choices in the past. Or you know that they are mentally, financially, intellectually or physically challenged, so the thing they want so much may end up hurting them more than helping them.

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But in trying to help and guide them, in the end, only ends up making them angry and defensive. It can be such a fine line one walks in trying to help within one’s disapproval. And I’m not sure I do such a good job…at least not at first.

As a Mother, I certainly come up against this all the time. Most certainly with my middle daughter, who is developmentally and health challenged besides. It has been an ongoing challenge for me to try to help her with major life choices the older she gets. She is stubborn and strong willed, not necessarily a bad thing, but she also can have a hard time asking for help. And sadly this is something we all need at times–and certainly something that would benefit her.

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Because of her fierce determination to ‘go it alone’, she gets herself (with her challenged boyfriend) into some spots that aren’t great, and then we end up bailing her out anyway. But now they have made a huge ‘decision’ that really scares all of the family and I feel they have no idea of the consequences.

When you have two people that have a hard time thinking past today, it makes it tough to plan…to plan for the life of someone else. And as we all know, being a parent is a life long job.

So I am trying very hard to wrap myself around how to best tell her about the realities of Motherhood, without making her defensive or frightening her either. It’s not all about pink dresses and pigtails–sometimes it’s about crying, illness, money and kids not listening to anything you say (even when they are grown).

And it’s also about being a Mother and loving that kid no matter what, even when she’s maybe not making the right choice.

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Poem: Vulnerable Possiblities


Like a  baby

Pursed lips searching for

Mother’s full breasts

Instinctively hopeful

They will be there-

And be bountiful

Like a wild beast

On the hunt for

Once bountiful prey

Now scarce and withering

Due to man’s greedy stance

Like the earth’s atmosphere

Once abundant and fresh

Full of pure, fresh fragrance

Devastated and pierced

Grimy soot and thin

Like the vast, deep ocean

Years past, blue and crystalline

Teeming with swimming, squiggling life

Oily and slick, eaten away with

Floating debris

Like poor and hungry children

Eyes like saucers

And bellies like

Mothers ripe with child

They wait

As the world goes by

Like a dog

Waiting at home

For the food, the walk, the smile

And the person

Who has given their heart

And has been hurt

Thinking of the possibilities

Vulnerability alone

Is lonely and dark

Housing lapping fear

Those whose innocence

Give them  peace from

This frailness

The beasts, babes and pets

Instinctively

Entwined helplessness with

Trust

A deep seeded knowing

A sense of hopeful awareness that

Needs will be met

Earth, air and ocean~

Their fragile existence

Trust is woven into

The fabric of the Universe

Spinning into eons of

The blink of cosmic dust

And the one person

Who faces that moment

Again

When love may knock

On their door

Do they open that

Vulnerability

And set the stage for

Demons, dragons and demigods

To enter the solitude of the

Inner world?

Or do they take the hand

And trust?

Trust their own inner

Fortress and

Find the pathway

Back

To a place

They have created

In a warm and open

Heart

And a full, accepting

Soul?

It is to be like the  babbling babe

And like the lumbering wolf

The waiting, wagging pup

Or the ocean lapping at the shore

To put one’s conscious trust

That all will be

As it should

For it is really

All there is in

The end anyway

 

 

Poem: And The Bombs Fly


And the bombs fly

While innocents die

You throw the first stone

Or was it them?

Or does it matter?

And the blood flows

And the bombs fly

While innocents die

And babies burn

In mother’s arms

Each maintain arms

To protect the  strip

Who are you protecting?

While the bombs fly

And innocents die

And mothers cry

You statesmen state

And speak of hate

From far away

While  people live

And the bombs fly

And innocents die

Who stops first?

One hundred more?

Useless sacrifice

While the bombs still fly

And more still die

Pride and  past kill

It’s a bitter pill

The innocents swallow whole

When will you see?

Corpses and bodies and death

Pour from the bomb

Sacrificial lambs to slaughter

For your game

You will never win

This game

As the bombs fly

And innocents die

And mothers cry

Humanity is breaking

Unless

Unless

The slaughter stops

And you remember

We were all one once