And a lovely piece of Valentine news! On Valentine's Day, winners of the Cybil's awards were announced. Congratulations to Laura Shovan for being honored with the poetry award for her novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.
I'm again writing a poem each day in response to a challenge to celebrate Laura Shovan's February birthday, this time with ten words and a current news article as prompt. This is the fifth year doing, is quite a challenge, but also a joy to have a time when it's quiet and focused on words and creating. Because of these recent chaotic times, some of the poems, mine, and others have turned into political responses. No surprise, right? There are numerous changes happening, some hot in the news, others less so. And sometimes we've learned that the rumors heard are not true, yet.
Before February 1st, the start of the challenge, the group wrote a few practice poems. And I wrote four of those, now have written twenty altogether. I like some of what I've written, others need a lot of work, or are on their way to the file of forgotten lines. Yet there is one that I still love. The thought of what will happen now to women all over the world who have lost health care saddens me a lot. A former student at my school who, with her spouse who grew up in the biggest slum in Kenya, has started and expanded a school for girls in Kibera, that slum. They have added another school on the other side of Kenya, and also built community centers. They are building a world with strong women who will make it out of poverty. That is one personal story I know. But I am aware of many workers in health and education in our world who dedicate their lives to help the communities. To lose funding is a blow.
Here are the words, the article, and the poem, celebrating the spirit of workers throughout our world.
I found them crying,
a foreign sound in this cinderblock,
“The war is over now,” I murmured.
“Why are you upset?”
They watched me with foreign eyes,
dampened by grief,
but also reignited with fire,
“He took away the aid, only mentioning abortions,
The paper signed, the blocking. . .
I looked out the window
at the line of women waiting.
“Let’s go,” I told them.
“We have work to do”.
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved