August 6, 2017, Prescott-
NOTE: Those following my journey of last month need not worry- there is much more to come, from those Road Days: Philadelphia; Hagerstown; Antietam; Harpers Ferry; Falls of the Ohio; Paducah; Sarcoxie; Baxter Springs & Sedan, Kansas; Folsom, Cimarron & Taos, NM, and all points in between.
Today, however, is an intermezzo. I want to pause, and connect with where my heart and spirit are NOW.
You, each and all, matter greatly, dearly.
Whoever told you, dying of ovarian cancer, and sitting on a downtown curb,
asking for whatever help people can bring,
that you are beyond hope- has lied to you.
I gave you my last dollar, and have to be prudent, for a week or so, as I am running low, myself.
Yet, you matter.
Whoever told you, beautiful young woman, just trying to get a meal and catch a break,
that you are good for only one thing- has shut his eyes to everything that you are.
I’d be proud as punch, to claim you as my daughter.
Whoever told you, strong, vital husband of an engaging, innovative woman,
that you ought to stay in the background, and let her be in the spotlight-
is cheating both of you.
She wants you at her side,
and you matter.
Whoever told you, my dearest friend and soul sister,
that no man would ever want you to be anything,
other than a source of pleasure, and his servant-
is living in a fool’s paradise.
You have taught me more, in a month’s time,
than I learned in six decades,
and I look forward to all that you have left to impart,
because you matter.
To all who may have told anyone in your life,
that he or she is worthless, a waste of DNA,
fodder for a compost pile-
think again, and hard.
You matter, in spite of your scathing remarks
and constant oneupmanship,
but so do those whom you disparage.
The black person matters,
as does the white,
the East Asian,
the Native American,
the Pacific Islander,
the West Asian,
the South Asian.
and so do women.
as do children,
those in “middle age”.
Homeless people matter,
There is no “Keep Out” sign,
at the universal level,
for anyone in the LGBTQ umbrella group,
for anyone with weight issues,
for anyone who struggles with mental health problems,
for anyone who can’t walk,
can’t speak, hear or see,
or can’t think.
This is where I am, now.
You, my female and male friends,
whose company I enjoy,
and who enjoy mine;
my neighbour children,
who love playing in my yard,
because it’s a safe place;
my students and co-workers,
who actually look forward
to being at school,
because we support one another,
I am blessed to be here,
because of you.