Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Words Fail Me

Words Fail Me

When I look at
the box to check that
asks me if I’m white
(like Apartheid, right?)
Words fail me

When I hear a slur
thrown at his/her
clothing on the street
(too butch or too sweet)
Words fail me

Then I remember what
my ancestry is, and cut
straight to the chase –
Whether it’s race

or “homoqueerdyke” –
Riley sure didn’t like
it, she took them on
Must have gone til dawn

Whatever the abuse
There is no excuse
I find my mind; suddenly
My words do not fail me

© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

The great Brian Miller at dverse Poets asked for the theme “when words fail you.”

It’s one thing to be stopped in my tracks by utter stupidity, insensitivity, and hate speech. It’s another to let it pass. I will always calmly try to talk them in off the Limbaugh Lemming Ledge… even though we have “concealed carry” in this state. It’s worth the risk, if only to stand for justice and work for peace. And it always ends up with a moment of standoff and an apology. (Caveat: I don’t take on the clearly unmedicated who could do me real harm, because they are speaking out of their own illnesses.) Peace, Amy