What happened next, while I was locked in the grip of this rural Midwestern location, during the final months of the election, and the remaining months of my mother’s life were compounded by the sudden and unexpected death of my beloved brother a mere forty-eight days after my mother’s passing.
I have been paralyzed with shock.
There is a cold wind blowing down my neck. It chills me to the bone and I have been writing ever since. All these days and nights, pluck, pluck, pluck on the keyboard, as if my own life depended on it.
I have been trying to stitch the pieces of this fragmented existence together. The pieces are East, West, right and left, racist, and tolerant. They are feminist and patriarchal. They are life and death, destruction, and the hereafter. There is no one-way, to sum up, the complicated and continual unraveling of both the personal and political aspects of daily life. For some of us, rising on the tide of the seventies, loping through the eighties, nineties, and into the twenty-first century, in the midst of the “me” generation, robust consumerism obliterates the imperative for a cohesive American agenda. There hasn’t been a world war crashing on our shores since chaos shattered our 9/11 realities. Our remote desert enemy lulls us into a mainland existence buoyantly and selfishly focused on immediate economic desires. Sure, we struggle with our jobs, our families, and our health.
Life isn’t easy. But it’s not like there are famines or fires, or hurricanes ripping through our coast? It’s not like our healthcare is in jeopardy, or our black sons get incarcerated at a higher rate than whites, or our black mothers die in childbirth at three times the rate of white women, while the richest 1 percent of America holds more wealth than the 90% combined?
(Sing Out Sister, first draft 2016)