Friday, November 27, 2015

Not the Usual

Tom Bodett posted this poem to his followers last night on Twitter.
I like it. It makes its point in a gentle way. It nudges, rather than rants. And yet, as I read and re-read it, something by bothered me. So I wrote a companion piece.


Perhaps if there were women

It might be so. Perhaps the female

humans will burst forth, finally be seen -

partners triumphant when men alone might fail.

Sometimes men just forget that women are -

exist, succeed, live, work, and win.

They leave them out, the story wanders far.

But without women we cannot yet begin.

Perhaps the year ahead will bend toward love

and hate and fear will lose their tempting hue.

But not without both men's and women's equal work

and worth. May it at last come true.

Yesterday was the first Thanksgiving in which I was painfully convicted of the greater truth: that the celebration of one history, one culture, one abundance, is predicated upon the painful silencing of thousands upon thousands of native voices. So when I read Sheenagh Pugh's poem I was more attuned to the voices who were left out.

Leaving out other voices to tell the story is never going to be honorable or honest. I think that's the lesson I'm taking away from Thanksgiving this year.



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